Gilded Age Mansions of Fifth Avenue Tour

Fifth Avenue Mansions Virtual Tour Overview

This tour focuses on the great mansions of Fifth Ave and their owners who constructed them as lavish displays of their wealth and status in Gilded Age New York City. The tour starts at the Frick Collection (1 East 70th Street) and ends at the Cooper-Hewitt (2 East 91th Street), the former homes of two protagonists on this tour – Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) and Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).

Virtual Tour Upcoming Dates
Tuesday, January 25th at 7 pm

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2 East 79th St.: Isaac and Mary Fletcher House / Harry Sinclair House / Augustus and Ann van Horn Stuyvesant House, 1897-1899, C.P.H. Gilbert, today the Ukrainian Institute of America.

The term “Gilded Age” is used to refer to the period of booming economic growth in the USA in the second half of the 19th century. In New York City this is the period when robber barons like Frick and Carnegie built some of the most extravagant urban palaces the city has ever seen.

Beaux-Arts was the dominant style of architecture in this period, as the greatest American architects from Richard Morris Hunt to Stanford White to C.P.H Gilbert all studied abroad in Paris. These three architects and many others created French châteaux, Italian palazzi, Gothic castles, and Neoclassical mansions in the heart of New York City, and helped give Fifth Avenue along Central Park the cachet it still holds today, as one of the most famous residential neighborhoods in the city.

2 East 91st Street: Andrew and Louise Carnegie House, Babb, Cook, and Willard, 1899-1903; converted to a museum in 1976; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution (Photo from 1910s)

Join Bowery Boys Walks guide Emma Guest-Consales, Ph.D. for a virtual stroll up the avenue to visit the grand residences, to see their exteriors, and to hear stories of their designers and owners.

Don’t miss this experience that takes you up one of the most famous streets in the world right from your computer.

Tour Highlights

  • The Frick Collection once the private residence of Henry Clay Frick, now one of the city’s greatest art museums.
  • The James B. Duke House (today NYU Institute of Fine Arts) modeled after a French château, this was the home of Doris Duke, the “richest girl in the world.”
  • The Payne Whitney House (today Cultural Services, Embassy of France) where a statue by the teenaged Michelangelo was rediscovered in the 1990s.
  • The home of Otto Kahn one of the most famous bon vivant of the 1920s who may have been the inspiration for “Mr. Monopoly.”
  • The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Smithsonian Institution, the former home of Andrew Carnegie, who described the 64-room mansion as “modest and plain.”

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Our tour guide Emma leading a group on Fifth Avenue.


Person – Walking Tour: $40.00 / Virtual Tour: $20.00
(Best suited for adults and most children over 8 years old.) 

Please contact us to set up a private tour!

Upcoming dates

Please click to see upcoming dates for this tour – or check this list of all upcoming tours, by date.


Walking Tour: 2 hours
Virtual tour: 90 minutes with a Q&A

Please note: We will send you the meeting place for walking tours. For virtual tours, we will send you a Zoom link once you sign up.

1904 image of sightseers on Fifth Avenue.

Your guide

Emma Guest-Consales, Ph.D. is an experienced guide, lecturer, and author who has taught art and architectural history in New York City for more than fifteen years. (read more)

Emma also leads the Ladies’ Mile Cast-Iron Tour and Central Park History and Landscape tour.

Book online now!