In 1811, new york city –
as most know it today
The landscape featured grass fields where cattle freely grazed and wide dirt streets prevailed. From this rural setting, a central artery
emerged. Shedding its humble origins, it would eventually transform into “the greatest street in the world” – Fifth Avenue.
FIFTH AVENUE IS BORN
Named Fifth Avenue, it hearkened a new era of glamour unlike anything seen before. Its storied history featuring
New York’s aristocracy would cement Fifth Avenue’s standing as an international symbol of wealth, power and status.
WHERE SOCIETY SPARKLES
The heartbeat of a burgeoning metropolis and the social spine of a newly glittering New York, Fifth Avenue’s exclusive status is
confirmed in 1862 when society’s grande dame Caroline Schermerhorn Astor chooses to settle on its crossroads at 34th Street.
From the 1850s onward, an elite epicenter converges at Fifth Avenue and Madison Square. Rows of distinguished
brownstones, elegant townhouses and majestic mansions establish an astonishing concentration of wealth and splendor.
THE FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL
Society’s most fashionable residences and hotels, including the luxurious Fifth Avenue Hotel, take their place along
26th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Square — creating a regal border along Madison Square Park.
MADISON SQUARE PARK
Madison Square Park opens to the public in 1847. Named for the fourth President of the United States,
it is instantly associated with status and respect.
DESIGNED FOR SOCIALIZING
Designed by Ignatz Pilat, a noted horticulturist — who worked alongside Fredrick Law Olmsted as Central
Park’s head landscape-gardener — Madison Square Park is an elite social hub.
Its influence is so great, that from 1876 to 1882 Madison Square Park showcases the arm and
torch of the Statue of Liberty to generate donations for the remaining construction.
AND 26TH STREET
In the late 1800s, the neighborhood resonates with energy and social magnetism. Every night, New York’s most
powerful flock to the corner of 26th Street and Fifth Avenue to dine at the legendary Delmonico’s Restaurant.
Dining here was a social mandate — for “no man ever attended eminence in the town without
passing through it.” Delmonico’s stands alone as “the eating house of the polite world.”
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN 1912
In 1912, developers Johnson-Kahn commission renowned New York architects Schwartz and Gross to design a
new commercial building on the coveted site. They choose the dramatic Neo-Medieval style for 212 Fifth Avenue.
ONE OF THE FIRST SKYSCRAPERS
Underneath the embellishments, an innovative 20th century steel skeleton enables the new icon’s height.
Likely influenced by the Woolworth Building, 212 Fifth Avenue joins the cool crowd as one of New York’s first skyscrapers.