In the early 1880s, W.K. Vanderbilt (grandson of Cornelius) and his wife, Alva, moved into this French Renaissance–style mansion on pristine Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street, near where various Vanderbilts had also constructed luxe gilded-age houses.
Alva, who later became a prominent suffragist, helped architect Richard Morris Hunt (he also designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) plan it out. She was determined to make her mark on New York’s movers and shakers.
Her efforts probably paid off. It’s a pretty impressive home.
Sold in 1926 to a real-estate developer, the mansion was demolished and replaced by—no surprise—an office building.