On the tipper side of 52d street at Fifth Avenue is the residence of W. K. Vanderbilt. At 53d street is the ultra-fashionable ST. THOMAS'S CHURCH, Protestant Episcopal. On the lower side of 54th street are the two houses (Nos. 68o and 684) built for daughters of Wm. H. Vanderbilt, Mrs. W. Seward Webb and Mrs. H. McK. Twombley.
On the upper side of 54th street is the UNIVERSITY CLUB. The membership is composed of graduates of universities and colleges. The. sculptured seals of 18 colleges are employed for exterior decorations.
CORNELIUS VANDERBILT HOUSE.
The CORNELIUS VANDERBILT HOUSE in Fifth Avenue, is for size and grandeur one of the most notable on the Avenue. It extends from 57th to 58th streets, and has a frontage on the side streets of 125 feet. The style is that of the Chateau de Boise in France; and the exterior effect is much enhanced by the garden which borders the Avenue side and by the porte-cochere on the 58th street end. The main entrance is on 58th street, and a feature of the interior is the great hall, finished in highly carved Caen stone, 42 feet broad, 50 feet long, and extending to the top of the house, with a winding staircase, also of Caen stone.
The rooms on the first floor include the large salon decorated in the style of Louis XV., a smaller salon in the style of Louis XVI., the library finished in mahogany, the grand ball room, which occupies a space of 64 by 50 feet and is 40 feet high, and dining, breakfast and smoking rooms. The house has been described as "a veritable palace, being built on the plan of those in Europe, and its grand magnificence becomes apparent only on fete occasions. The main floor, adapted especially for entertainment, with its grand stone hall, its great ball room, which is said to outshine in elegance and grandeur the state apartments of royalty, and its series of large connecting rooms, disclose an arrangement architecturally perfect and harmonious. The elaborate carvings, decorations and furnishings have been made and selected by experts in the various branches of architecture and decoration, with a view to artistic effect and elegance, and the result is a vast floor of magnificent stateliness." Cornelius Vanderbilt died in 1899.
At 58th and 59th streets of Fifth Avenue is the PLAZA, an open square which is remarkable for its architectural and social surroundings. On the east are the hotels Savoy and Netherland; on the south the Cornelius Vanderbilt house; on the west the Plaza Hotel, and on the north Central Park. The principal entrance to the Park is here; this is the town's fashion-able drive, and in the afternoon we shall find a constant stream of equipages coming and going, and crowds of pedestrians and promenaders on the avenue and in the park.
The METROPOLITAN CLUB'S HOUSE at both street occupies a site which was once owned by the Duches of Marlborough. The building, of white marble, with Numidian marble halls, and is one of the finest club houses in the world. On account of the enormous fortunes possessed by the members, the club is known as the "Millionaires' Club."
Next to the Metropolitan Club is the residence of Elbridge T. Gerry, founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Mr. Gerry's is the first of the long succession of palatial residences fronting the Park above both street, which constitute what is popularly called "MILLIONAIRES' Row." They are houses remarkable for size, diversified style, and the architectural effect of the exteriors; and yet more for the costliness, lavish luxury and magnificence of the interiors. Among the many notable residences we have space to mention but a few.
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