15 Gramercy Park was built in the 1840s and its original flat-front, iron-grilled appearance matched the style of the houses still maintained on the west side of Gramercy Park. Samuel Tilden acquired 15 Gramercy Park in the 1860s, and in the 1870s gave the house a massive overhaul. Tilden hired Calvert Vaux, a famed architect and one of the designers of Central Park, to "victorianize" the facade with sandstone, bay windows, and Gothic Ornamentation. John LaFarge created stained glass ceilings for the inside of the mansion, and Italian wood carvers made the fireplaces. Glass master Donald MacDonald wrought a unique stained glass dome for the building. All of this prompted architect Philip Johnson to call the mansion, "among the most beautiful in New York." Spencer Trask and the Board of Governors acquired the Tilden Mansion in 1906 as the new home for The National Arts Club.
Access Notes: Due to limited space, this site is timed-entry; please note that no guided tours will be offered. The self-guided tour typically takes guests approximately 30 minutes. Visitors must be 18 or older.
Reservations for this tour are now sold out. Interested in exploring spectacular Gilded Age interiors? You may also enjoy the Collector's Suite at the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, which requires no reservations! Click on the site’s name to check out its Open Access listing.
Image Credit: Joe David via Wikimedia Commons