264 Fifth Avenue

A once-proud brownstone mansion dating to the 1850s, 264 Fifth Avenue was converted to an apartment residence in the late 1870s.  Popular with well-to-do bachelors, the building was dubbed The Knickerbocker Flats and housed a fashionable jeweler on its ground floor.  The 20th century was less kind to the structure and little remains of 264… Continue reading

233 Fifth Avenue, The Museum of Sex

A tatty and nearly unrecognizable survivor from the brownstone era, 233 Fifth Avenue now houses New York’s Museum of Sex.  The museum had planned to demolish the building and replace it with a new electronically-lit façade that would “blush” different shades of pink.  The extension of the final boundaries of the Madison Square North Historic District… Continue reading

178-180 Fifth Avenue

A fascinating remnant of Fifth Avenue’s original residential streetscape, 178-180 Fifth Avenue consist of a pair of brownstone houses that have been unified at the base level but preserve notable details at the upper floors. Built for one C. A. Pepoon around 1862, they were once part of a trio of houses arranged to resemble one… Continue reading

159-161 Fifth Avenue

A survivor from the first wave of commercial development up this part of the avenue, 159-161 Fifth Avenue (also 935-939 Broadway) is attributed to Thomas Griffith, called in 1908 by the American Institute of Architects “one of the most fashionable architects of his day”. A rare surviving commercial work from the Civil War period, 159-161… Continue reading

144 Fifth Avenue

A survivor from the Avenue’s earliest period, the altered 1851 townhouse at 144 Fifth Avenue preserves original details at its upper floors. A fire escape (rare for Fifth Avenue) bisects the façade and partially obscures the wonderful Aesthetic Movement cast iron panels between the third floor windows that give the building’s full address. The architect… Continue reading