The elegant carriage houses of East 66th Street

Wherever rich New Yorkers built their homes in the 19th century, they also built private stables for their expensive horses and carriages—with upstairs living quarters for a coachman or groom.

So when Upper Fifth Avenue along Central Park became the city’s new Millionaire Mile during the Gilded Age, certain Upper East Side blocks to the east of Park Avenue were turned into unofficial stable rows.

East 66th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues is one of these former stable rows, with three spectacular restored carriage houses surviving today.

The twin beauties at 110 and 112 East 66th Street (at top and above, in 1934) off Park Avenue are stunning examples.

Built in 1890, these two Romanesque Revival carriages houses were purchased eight years later by William C. Whitney, who lived a few blocks away in a mansion at East 68th Street at Fifth Avenue (at left).

Whitney was a financier and secretary of the Navy under Grover Cleveland, according to the Upper East Side Historic District Designation Report made by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1981.

Down the block at number 126 East 66th Street is what remains of another delightful carriage house, also with a Whitney connection. This one is three stories, and it too reflects the Romanesque Revival style, according to the LPC report.

Number 126 was commissioned in 1895 by sugar baron Henry O. Havemeyer, whose mansion residence stood at One East 66th Street.

After it was completed, Havemeyer sold it to businessman, yachtsman, and Standard Oil trustee Col. Oliver Hazard Payne, who happened to be Havemeyer’s neighbor as well as the brother-in-law of William C. Whitney.

A 1902 article in Outing magazine called the Havemeyer-Payne carriage house “always as clean as a new pin, with space enough for every style of pleasure vehicle that a gentleman’s fancy can picture.”

More than a century later, 110 East 66th Street is home to a plastic surgeon’s office, while 112 appears to be a single-family dwelling.

Number 126 was partly demolished at some point in the 20th century. Even without its other half, what remains is still something special.

The Upper East Side is home to more former stable rows with enchanting carriage houses, such as East 73rd Street between Lexington and Third Avenues.

[Second photo: MCNY; fourth photo: MCNY; fifth photo: Google]

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15 Responses to “The elegant carriage houses of East 66th Street”

  1. immacchi Says:

    Interesting

  2. The elegant carriage houses of East 66th Street | Real Estate Investing Says:

    […] Source: FS – NYC Real Estate The elegant carriage houses of East 66th Street […]

  3. Simoswife Says:

    I came back from NYC only yesterday and found your site today 😦 such beautiful buildings and history

  4. James Says:

    Back in the late 1970’s I worked as the Manager of the Plaza Theatre on East 56th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.The building had originally been a Stable as the lower level waiting room still had the 4’x4′ doors that allowed the Horses to feed in their stalls.
    I remember finding an old set of Blueprints that detailed the conversion in the mid 1950’s. Unfortunately the building was torn down for another High Rise some time in the 1990’s.

  5. Manqueman Says:

    Are one these where Francisco Scavullo had his studio?

  6. The gingerbread carriage house of 38th Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] such a fanciful structure, its backstory echoes that of other New York City carriage houses—built for wealthy New Yorkers who resided in nearby mansions and could afford to spend money on […]

  7. An 1871 stable hiding on a modern Midtown block | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] side streets near (but not too near) a rich owner’s home, often grouped together so some blocks became stable rows, per the […]

  8. A 44th Street stable built in 1865 is a survivor | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] as part of a row of carriage houses on this one-time “stable street” in 1865, it’s the only one that still stands, according to a 2001 New York Times article. And […]

  9. marybeth Cuffe Says:

    I just found this site and love it…great job! Do you know of any carriage houses that might have housed horses used by Macy’s for their delivery wagons?

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Thank you! I don’t know for sure, but I’m sure that information is available and I can look into it. It also depends on which Macy’s you are talking about: the 14th Street /Ladies Mile Macys stores, or the 1902 Herald Square store.

      • marybeth luttenberger Says:

        Thank you much for your quick reply. I don’t know which store it would be but it would be in the 1900-1930 time period if that helps. Thank you.

  10. The Lenox Hill carriage houses from a fairytale | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] so near that they had to smell and hear their horses. Other stable rows are on East 73rd Street and East 66th Street, and they tend to be east of Lexington Avenue (and thus closer to the tenements and elevated […]

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