Villard Houses

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Villard Houses
Villard Exterior 118503pv.jpg
Exterior
Location 29½ 50th Street, 24--26 East 51st Street, and 451, 453, 455, and 457 Madison Avevenue, New York, New York
Coordinates: 40°45′29.22″N 73°58′30.91″W / 40.7581167°N 73.9752528°W / 40.7581167; -73.9752528
Built 1882-84
Architect McKim, Mead & White
Architectural style Renaissance, Other
Governing body private
NRHP Reference # 75001210 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 2, 1975
Designated NYCL September 30, 1968
The Villard Houses in 2010

The Villard Houses are located at 455 Madison Avenue in the Manhattan Borough of New York City between 50th and 51st Street.

History[edit]

The building was constructed in 1884, designed by Stanford White[2] of the architecture firm McKim, Mead and White. It is considered to be a Roman design with specific Renaissance touch points.[3] Among the artists who worked on the building's elaborate interior were sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and painter Maitland Armstrong.[2]

The houses were commissioned by Henry Villard, then president of the Northern Pacific Railway, shortly before his railroad empire began to crumble. Ownership of the building changed through many hands throughout the century, including the Archdiocese of New York.[4]

In 1968, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the complex an historical landmark. Restoration and construction for a new hotel complex was proposed by real estate developer Harry B. Helmsley who constructed the 51-story New York Palace Hotel tower directly behind the original building.[5] The project was designed by architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer in 1977 and completed in 1980.[1][6]

In 2014, the residences were available for public viewing when they hosted the annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House program to raise money for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.[7]

The original building was restored in 2003 and office space was furnished for city preservation group The Municipal Art Society, as part of an agreement to save the building from demolition.[5] As a part of the renovation of the hotel, part of what is now known as the Villard Mansion is available as an event rental.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Exterior shots of the Villard Houses were used on the TV series Gossip Girl as the hotel where the van der Woodsen family lives.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b Lockhart, Mary. Treasures of New York: Stanford White (TV, 2014) WLIW. Broadcast accessed:2014-01-05
  3. ^ Craven, Wayne (2009). Gilded Mansions: Grand Architecture and High Society. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 243. ISBN 0393067548. 
  4. ^ a b "Historic New York City Hotel". New York Palace. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  5. ^ a b Gray, Christopher (2003-12-21). "Streetscapes/Madison Avenue Between 50th and 51st Street; A Landmark 6-Home Complex in Dark Brownstone". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  6. ^ "From the Vault: New York Palace Hotel, 455 Madison Avenue". The Commercial Observer. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  7. ^ Green, Penelope (April 30, 2014). "Rocking the Palazzo". New York Times (New York City). Retrieved May 6, 2014. 

Further reading

  • Kathrens, Michael C. (2005). Great Houses of New York, 1880–1930. New York: Acanthus Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-926494-34-3. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Villard Houses at Wikimedia Commons