Masters of the Upper East Side: Corporate Titans & Their Mansions

New York City

  • The Neue Museum stands on the corner of 86th and 5th.
  • The southern garden of the Cooper Hewitt.
  • The northern entrance to the Cooper Hewitt Museum.
  • The Guggenheim Museum.
  • Inside the atrium of the Guggenheim.
  • A tease of Adele Bloch-Bauer.
  • Detail of the ornamental window design and arched top
  • Jackie O heads out for a stroll.
  • The Duke-Semans Mansion, viewed from the stairs up to the MET.
  • Blue skies and fountains at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • The Issac D. Fletcher House, flying the Ukrainian flag.
  • The Isaac D. Fletcher House when it was completed.
  • The French and EU flags fly outside of the Payne Whitney Mansion.
  • "Young Archer" greets visitors in the marble foyer.
  • Ornamentation on the wrought iron fence outside of the Harkness House.
  • The Edward Harkness House
  • The gate and courtyard in front of the Frick.
  • The Henry Clay Frick House under construction.
  • The Roosevelt House.
  • One door.  Two apartments.  Mommy's best idea yet!

2 hours
1.5 mi
Guided by Michael
Michael Williamson


Vanderbilt. Roosevelt. Frick. Rockefeller. Kennedy. The Upper East Side was the neighborhood of the late 19th century's captains of industry. Today, the "UES" upholds its reputation as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country and remains the home of old money and pedigreed palates. Come on a stroll to hear the stories behind the mansions and stomping grounds of the who's who.

About Your Guide

Kansas born, Ohio raised, New Jersey schooled, and now: New York native. I devour history and non-fiction books, especially anything about Nieuw Amsterdam, Gotham, The Five Boroughs and the Empire City. My dog and I endure four flights of stairs to reach our Upper West Side apartment, but wouldn't change a thing.

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Guide Points

  1. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

    The Cooper Hewitt focuses on historic and contemporary design: product design, fashion, architecture, pottery, furniture and more. It is a…

  2. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

    Modern architecture is not something you see in the Upper East Side, and it certainly is not embraced by the inhabitants of the neighborhoo…

  3. Neue Galerie

    This giant brick and limestone corner building is a Louis XIII/Beaux-Art style chateaux with its giant rectangular pilaster, stone ornament…

  4. 1040 5th Ave

    Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis used to pass under the green awning of 1040 5th Avenue on her way to her 15th floor apartment. 17 stories tall,…

  5. Duke-Semans Mansion

    Perhaps the best view of this house is from the steps of the Met. In addition to being able to peer into the windows, it offers a seat and…

  6. Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion

    New York banker Isaac D. Fletcher had eyed William K. Vanderbilt's French Chateau-style mansion and wanted one of his own. So Fletcher hir…

  7. Albertine Bookstore / Payne Whitney Mansion

    This is the Albertine bookstore, a French bookstore supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Originally, this was the Ita…

  8. Edward Harkness Mansion

    The wrought iron fence along the northeastern corner of 75th St marks the beginning of the 1908 Edward Harkness House. Harkness received i…

  9. Henry Clay Frick House

    A green lawn separates the Frick Mansion from 5th Avenue traffic, offering an air of sophistication and serenity to the Beaux-Arts estate.

  10. The Roosevelt House

    This relatively understated 1906 building is another wedding gift. Sara Roosevelt had it built for her son, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and …

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