About this Event
When New York City's wealthiest residents moved uptown to escape the crowded downtown neighborhoods beginning in the late 19th century, they didn't just build big homes, but rather colossal palaces. From architectural details that included turrets, gargoyles, moats, and wrought iron inspired by Italian Renaissance tombs — to prominent American families that included names like Carnegie, Pulitzer, Vanderbilt, and Frick — it's time to travel up Fifth Avenue and uncover the incredible sights and stories behind the Gilded Age mansions that still line the avenue.
Join New York Adventure Club as we hit the streets and explore the great Gilded Age Mansions of Museum Mile. Spanning along the Upper East Side's stretch of Fifth Avenue, Museum Mile got its name from the high density of world-class museums and cultural institutions that were built thanks to very wealthy benefactors during the Gilded Age — many whose great mansions still stand across Central Park.
Led by NYC tour guide, Ginny Poleman, our curated path through New York’s most exclusive neighborhood dating back over a century will include:
- A then-and-now comparison of the neighborhood using maps, illustrations, and vintage photos dating back to the 19th century
- A walk by museums that make up Museum Mile, which include the Guggenheim, MET, and Cooper Hewitt
- Insider stories surrounding some of Museum Mile's most notable families, including why Joseph Pulitzer had architect Stanford White soundproof his bedroom, how Andrew Carnegie was so wealthy that he could choose his neighbors, and why Henry Clay Frick wanted his home to become a world class private museum after he passed away
- A trip past Cook Block and explanation as to why it's today’s best example of early 20th century architecture
- A look at Beaux Arts architecture that defined the era that tied into the aesthetic of New York during the City Beautiful Movement
- A discussion of the architects who built the great mansions and museums along Fifth Avenue and beyond, such as Stanford White, Whitney Warren, CPH Gilbert, and the team of Carrère & Hastings
See you there!
*Please bring a water bottle and comfortable pair of shoes as we’ll be doing a lot of walking!
**This tour concludes at Cooper Hewitt at 91st Street & 5th Avenue
Ginny Poleman is a graduate of Cornell University, a licensed NYC tour guide, docent for the Municipal Art Society, as well as an educational and costume collection guide for New York’s largest art museum. Additionally, she offers private tours for her own company, NYC Encounters, covering New York City Art, Architecture, and History. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @Art_Encounters and @NYC.Encounters.
"Ginny was brilliant and very knowledgeable. Her humour was great and made it easy to go along with the cold temperature and frozen feet....simply forgot about that. Highly recommend hee to everybody." -Anja
"Great info and guide" -John
"Ginny the guide was very knowledgeable and had a lot of interesting anecdotes about the architects and families who built & lived in the 5th Avenue mansions of the gilded age." -Michele
"Info on buildings and the family histories. Excellent and comprehensive tour.Also well paced." -Paula
"This tour was excellent. Very informed, interesting stories, a good length, and an experienced, passionate docent. I would definitely recommend this tour. I am going back to watching all the gilded age movies and TV shows." -Cynthia
Event takes place rain or shine.
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Categories: In-Person, Neighborhood Tours
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Richard Morris Hunt Memorial (Between 70th and 71st Streets), 5th Avenue, New York, United States