Fifth Avenue
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Fifth Avenue


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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Fifth Avenue, by Arthur Bartlett Maurice, Illustrated by Allan G. Cram This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Fifth Avenue Author: Arthur Bartlett Maurice Release Date: September 15, 2005 [eBook #16691] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FIFTH AVENUE*** E-text prepared by Audrey Longhurst, Charlene Taylor, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( MASSIVE AND SPLENDIDLY GOTHIC IS ST. THOMAS'S. THE CHURCH DATES FROM 1825. IN 1867 THE PRESENT SITE WAS SECURED, AND THE BROWNSTONE EDIFICE OF THE EARLY SEVENTIES WAS FOR NEARLY TWO GENERATIONS THE ULTRAFASHIONABLE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE CITY FIFTH AVENUE BY ARTHUR BARTLETT MAURICE Author of "New York in Fiction," "The New York of the Novelists," "Bottled up in Belgium," etc. DRAWINGS BY ALLAN G. CRAM NEW YORK DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY 1918 FOREWORD In the making of this book the author has drawn from many sources. First, for many suggestions, he is indebted to Mr. Guy Nichols, the librarian of the Players Club, whose knowledge of the city is so profound that his friends occasionally refer to him as "the man who invented New York." The author is indebted to the Fifth Avenue Association and to the invariable courtesy of those persons in the New York Public Library with whom he has come in contact. Among the books that have been consulted are, first of all, the admirable monographs, "Fifth Avenue," and "Fifth Avenue Events," issued by the Fifth Avenue Bank. From these he has drawn freely. Among other volumes are "The Diary of Philip Hone," Ward McAllister's "Society as I Have Found It," George Cary Eggleston's "Recollections of a Varied Life," Matthew Hale Smith's "Sunshine and Shadow in New York" (1869), Seymour Dunbar's "A History of Travel in America," Miss Henderson's "A Loiterer in New York," William Allen Butler's "A Retrospect of Forty Years," Fremont Rider's "New York City," Francis Gerry Fairfield's "The Clubs of New York," Anna Alice Chapin's "Greenwich Village," Theodore Wolff's "Literary Haunts and Homes," Rupert Hughes's "The Real New York," James Grant Wilson's "Thackeray in the United States," Mrs. Burton Harrison's "Recollections, Grave and Gay," Abram C. Dayton's "Last Days of Knickerbocker Life in New York," and Martha J. Lamb's "History of the City of New York." Also various articles in the magazines and newspapers. Contents Chapter I THE SHADOW OF THE KNICKERBOCKERS II THE STRETCH OF TRADITION III A KNICKERBOCKER PEPYS IV GLIMPSES OF THE SIXTIES V FOURTEENTH TO MADISON SQUARE VI SOME GREAT DAYS ON THE AVENUE VII SOME AVENUE CLUBS IN THE EARLY DAYS VIII LITERARY LANDMARKS AND FIGURES IX FIFTH AVENUE IN FICTION X TRAILS OF BOHEMIA XI THE SLOPE OF MURRAY HILL XII CONFESSIONS OF AN EXILED BUS XIII A POST-KNICKERBOCKER PETRONIUS XIV THE CREST OF MURRAY HILL XV GIANT STRIDES OF COMMERCE XVI BEYOND MURRAY HILL XVII APPROACHING THE PLAZA XVIII STRETCHES OF THE AVENUE XIX MINE HOST ON THE AVENUE Page 1 29 41 60 78 100 125 150 165 183 199 211 226 244 255 266 285 297 312 Illustrations FACING PAGE Massive and splendidly Gothic is St. Thomas's. The church dates from 1825. In 1867 the present site was secured, and the brown-stone edifice of the early seventies was for nearly two generations the ultrafashionable Episcopal church of the city." The Washington Arch. A splendid sentinel guarding the approach to the Avenue. Beyond, houses dating from the thirties of the last century, that mark the beginning of the Stretch of Tradition. At the northeast corner of the Avenue and Tenth Street is the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, built in 1840, and consecrated November 5, 1841. It belongs to a part of the Avenue, from the Square to Twelfth Street, which has changed little since 1845. Madison Square. Yesterday it was the home of the Flora McFlimsies of the William Allen Butler poem "Nothing to Wear." Today, in the eyes of the Manhattanite, it is the centre of the Universe. "The Tower of the Metropolitan Building. Whatever artists may think of it the tower is, structurally, one of the wonders of the world. Exactly halfway between sidewalk and point of spire is the great clock with the immense dials." In the bright sunlight the Avenue glitters with the Frontispiece 14 32 68 86 pavillions of patriotism. Old Glory may be counted by the tens of thousands; England's Union Jack, and the Tricolour of France by the thousands. To forestall the Kaiser the Avenue is "coming across". Where the Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street cross stands the building popularly known as the Knickerbocker Trust Company. Here, in the middle of the last century, "Sarsaparilla" Townsend built in brown-stone, and A. T. Stewart later built in white marble. "At the northwest corner of Fifty-fourth Street is the University Club, to the mind of Arnold Bennett ('Your United States'), the finest of all the fine structures that line the Avenue". "The site of the old Lenox Library is now occupied by the house of Mr. Henry C. Frick, one of the great show residences of the Avenue and the City. A broad garden separates the house, which is eighteenth century English, from the sidewalk". The terrace of the Public Library. Today the spot is the scene of the activities of those engaged in the work of speeding America's Answer. Once it was far uptown, and on the eastern side of the Avenue were the residences known as "Spanish Row," or "The House of Mansions". Commerce, with giant stride, is marching up the stately Avenue. The story of a business house that began in the neighbourhood of Cherry Hill, migrated to Grand Street, thence to Broadway and Union Square, and again to the slope of Murray Hill, is, in epitome, the story of the city itself. "On the site of the old Croton Reservoir the cornerstone of the Public Library was laid November 10, 1902, and the building opened to the public May 23, 1911. To it were carried the treasures of the Astor Library and the Lenox Library." Entrance to the Public Library. The Library, 590 feet long and 270 deep, was built by the City at a cost of about nine million dollars. The material is largely Vermont marble, and the style that of the modern renaissance. "O beautiful, long, loved Avenue, So faithless to truth and yet so true."—JOAQUIN MILLER South of where "St. Gaudens's hero, gaunt and grim, rides on with Victory leading him," may be seen the Fountain of Abundance, and, in the