New York Architecture Images- Gone / Demolished / Destroyed

Cornelius Vanderbilt II House


Richard Morris Hunt


south west corner of 57th Street and 5th Avenue (modern-day Bergdorf Goodman site)






Red brick with limestone trim.





Heaven may not be what you hoped for if you are unable to relax, let go and appreciate the seraphim and cherubim. Otherwise, you may find yourself like Woody Allen in a taxi in Manhattan - "You look so beautiful I can hardly keep my eye on the meter."

I felt very conflicted sitting in the Conservatory Garden - I had an loose agenda for the day, but sitting in this garden just made it nearly impossible to entertain leaving. I was truly trapped in paradise.


This is one of New York City's "secrets" - few will make it this far north on Fifth Avenue. The formal garden was designed by Gilmore D. Clarke, the landscape architect for Robert Moses. The main entrance is through the Vanderbilt Gate at Fifth Avenue and 104th Street. The gate once served as an entrance to the chateau of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, the grandest of the Fifth Avenue mansions. It stood at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue near the Plaza Hotel. It was demolished in 1927. The gardens are divided into 3 styles - French, Italian and English. From the Central Park website:

Conservatory Garden began as a large, E-shaped greenhouse, or conservatory in 1898. It featured an indoor winter garden of exotic tropical plants and outdoor decorative Victorian flowerbeds. In 1937, the deteriorating structure was demolished and this six-acre formal garden was designed in its place.The Central Park Conservancy began its restoration of the area in 1981, starting with the Garden’s fountains.


Conservatory Garden is divided into three distinct styles – French, Italian, and English.The northern French-style garden features an ellipse of meandering boxwood and pansies, and showcases spectacular seasonal displays of tulips in spring and chrysanthemums in autumn. In the center is the charming Three Dancing Maidens fountain by German sculptor Walter Schott.The central Italian garden features a wisteria pergola, a large lawn surrounded by clipped hedges of yews, a 12-foot-high jet fountain, and two exquisite allées of pink and white crabapple trees. On the walkway under the wisteria pergola are medallions inscribed with the names of the original thirteen states. The Italian garden serves as a backdrop for hundreds of wedding photography sessions.

I hope you visit. I'm sure you will enjoy being trapped in paradise :)