Harry F. Sinclair House

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Harry F. Sinclair House
Harry F Sinclair House 9730.JPG
Harry F. Sinclair House is located in Manhattan
Harry F. Sinclair House
Harry F. Sinclair House is located in New York
Harry F. Sinclair House
Harry F. Sinclair House is located in the US
Harry F. Sinclair House
Location 2 East 79th Street and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York
Coordinates 40°46′36.3″N 73°57′49″W / 40.776750°N 73.96361°W / 40.776750; -73.96361Coordinates: 40°46′36.3″N 73°57′49″W / 40.776750°N 73.96361°W / 40.776750; -73.96361
Built 1897–1899[2]
Architect C. P. H. Gilbert
Architectural style French Gothic
NRHP reference # 78001882[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 2, 1978 [1]
Designated NHL June 2, 1978 [3]

The Harry F. Sinclair House is a mansion at 2 East 79th Street at Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, that houses the Ukrainian Institute of America, which promotes art and literature by hosting exhibitions open to public, among other means.


It was designed by Charles Pierrepont Henry Gilbert (C. P. H. Gilbert) for the New York banker and stockbroker Isaac D. Fletcher in 1897 and completed in 1898.[4] When Fletcher died in 1917, he left the house and his art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[5] which sold the house to create the Fletcher Fund for purchases of prints and drawings. The purchaser in 1918 was the self-made oil millionaire Harry F. Sinclair, who lived in the house until 1930. Sinclair is best known for founding Sinclair Oil in 1916 and was made notorious by his involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal in 1922. After Sinclair sold it in 1930 it became known as the Augustus and Anne van Horne Stuyvesant House; the unmarried brother and sister, descendents of Peter Stuyvesant, had moved from their house at 3 East 57th Street, when that stretch of Fifth Avenue had become unalterably commercial.[6] Since 1955 it has been owned by the Ukrainian Institute of America.

In 1996 architectural historian Christopher Gray quoted an anonymous critic writing for the Real Estate Record & Guide in 1899, who in praising the design noted that much of the ornament was ecclesiastical in origin rather than domestic. The writer closed with the observation that the Fletcher mansion had "too much the air of an archeological reproduction to be accepted as an appropriate New York City house of 1898."[6]

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978,[3][7][8] and remained "refreshingly unrestored", according to Christopher Gray, until 1997, when modest renovations were undertaken.

Ukrainian Institute of America[edit]

The Ukrainian Institute of America (UIA) is a nonprofit institution, with its headquarters at the mansion It was founded by Ukrainian industrialist and philanthropist William Dzus on May 3, 1948 to promote Ukrainian culture, history, art, music and literature and started formally in 1955.[9] It often hosts art exhibitions of notable Ukrainian artists living in the states and other events related to Ukrainian heritage.

In popular culture[edit]

The house was used as a location in the film Cruel Intentions, as well as many other films and advertisements.[10]

The exterior is also featured in "Great Expectations", where Ethan Hawke yells in the rain.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot; AIA Guide to New York City, 4th Edition; New York Chapter, American Institute of Architects; Crown Publishers/Random House. 2000. ISBN 0-8129-3106-8; ISBN 0-8129-3107-6. p.417.
  3. ^ a b "Harry F. Sinclair House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. September 11, 2007. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ Christopher Gray, " Limestone Remnant of Fifth Avenue's Chateau Days", New York Times, 3 November 1996 Accessed October 7, 2008. When it was built, the house faced Isaac Brokaw's 1891 Gothic mansion across the street on the northeast corner, at 1 East 79th.
  5. ^ Correspondence with Edward Robinson, 1917, Box 5, Folder 6, in the Durr Friedley Records (1906-1918), The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives.
  6. ^ a b Gray 1996.
  7. ^ ""Harry F. Sinclair–Augustus Van Horne Stuyvesant Jr. House", June 1977, by George R. Adams (National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination)" (pdf). National Park Service. June 1977. 
  8. ^ "Harry F. Sinclair–Augustus Van Horne Stuyvesant Jr. House—Accompanying 5 photos, exterior and interior, from 1977 (National Register of Historic Places Inventory)" (pdf). National Park Service. June 1977. 
  9. ^ "UIA". NYC Arts.org. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/c/Cruel_Intentions.html#.V63HHluLS_4

Further reading[edit]

  • Kathrens, Michael C. (2005). Great Houses of New York, 1880–1930. New York: Acanthus Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-926494-34-3. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Harry F. Sinclair House at Wikimedia Commons