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Colonnade Row

428 - 434 Lafayette Street

New York, NY 10003

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Mansions of the Gilded Age & Colonnade Row: New York's History Salon present

Fifth Avenue Chateaux: Fifth Avenue’s Glorious French Mansions during the Gilded Age.

In a period not so long ago, millionaires built mansions that lined New York’s Fifth Avenue from Washington Square to the upper reaches of the avenue. They were built by the most prominent architects of the day for the Astors, Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Phipps, Goulds, and many others. While many great fortunes of the time were made in other parts of the country, to be truly recognized as a success, a mansion on New York’s Fifth Avenue was the ultimate accomplishment.

The new millionaires of the Gilded Age craved culture and refinement and looked to France for almost every detail for their lifestyles. At the parties given in these great houses, meals would be prepared by French chefs accompanied with fine French wines. The ladies would be attired in silken gowns from Worth of Paris, wearing jewels from the French court, some even wore Marie Antoinette’s diamonds. They would descend marble staircases, lit by footmen holding blazing candelabras, into gilded paneled salons. Amongst the palms, Rembrandts, crystal, gold, and ancient velvets, the guests danced and plotted marriages to European Nobility, made inquiries into getting friends into their inner circle, and told gossip to banish enemies.

Gary Lawrance

Architect, Author, and Historian Gary Lawrance is based in Stony Brook, New York. His firm, Lawrance Architectural Presentations, provides design presentations, architectural models, digital renderings, and design development services to architects, landscape architects and interior designers.

Mr. Lawrance has an extensive background in the history of Gilded Age architecture, landscapes, and society, and co-authored the bestselling book, Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930 with Anne Surchin (Acanthus Press 2007, Revised 3rd Printing 2013). Lecturing on the lost architecture of the Gilded Age for historical and garden societies, preservation and arts groups for over twenty years, Mr. Lawrance curated a symposium on the Gilded Age, held at Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown, New York in 2016 and will be curating the second annual Gilded Age symposium again at Lyndhurst in June 2017. Mr. Lawrance is currently working on his next book, “Houses of Palm Beach, 1900-1950”. He is a frequent lecturer and co-curator at Colonnade Row: New York’s History Salon.


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Colonnade Row

428 - 434 Lafayette Street

New York, NY 10003

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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