Just Off Fifth: 2 West 16th Street

This rare surviving brownstone mansion, now in a state of some decay, is illustrative of the type of upper class residence that once lined Fifth Avenue. Built by a Dr. Lovejoy in the 1850s, who almost immediately sold it, 2 West 16th Street came into the possession of Henry G. Stebbins, a prominent banker, who lived there with… Continue reading

68 Fifth Avenue

Dwarfed by its more recent neighbors, this townhouse preserves original Italianate details on its uppermost three floors. 68 Fifth Avenue is now part of The New School’s Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.

Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue

The last remaining fully intact brownstone on this stretch of Fifth Avenue and the only one south of Harlem, 47 Fifth Avenue was built for Irad Hawley, a prosperous coal merchant.  In its use of brownstone cladding, generous proportions, high stoop, bold cornice and simple but vigorous details it is practically a textbook example of… Continue reading

Church of the Ascension, 36-38 Fifth Avenue

Standing at 36 – 38 Fifth Avenue, the Church of the Ascension is one of the great Gothic Revival designs of Richard Upjohn, best known for the slightly earlier Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street. Constructed in 1840 – 1841, Ascension is simpler than Upjohn’s Wall Street masterpiece, in keeping with what was then… Continue reading

14 Fifth Avenue

The first of Fifth Avenue’s architectural duds, 14 Fifth is all that remains of the two northernmost Gothic Revival brownstone houses constructed by Henry Brevoort, now combined into one apartment building. All original details have been removed and a dull stucco façade replaces the design still visible at 10 Fifth. An ambitious developer might consider partial… Continue reading