The Midtown Architectural Walking Tour
Architecture - History - Interesting Pictures and Stories

This three hour walking tour covers a section of Midtown Manhattan that contains a number of landmark buildings
with a selection of historic and anti historic architectural styles more diverse than any other part of Manhattan.
Also Included are, some of the area's history, interesting pictures and stories that help join us with the area's past.

This Walking Tour of the Past and Present Features:

A walk in Midtown with landmark examples of Art Deco, Modern, Post Modern.
Also an example of Brutalism in a New York skyscraper and even an example of deconstructionism in a New York skyscraper.
Mixed with landmark examples of: neo-Georgian, neo-Tudor, Romanesque Revival, neo-Moorish / Islamic Revival, neo-Federal styles
along with a landmark example the 16th Century Italian Renaissance Palace style of architecture and a wood frame home from 1866.
We will see buildings by such well knwon modern architects as: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Gordon Bunshaft.
Also two Post Modern skyscrapers by Philip Johnson plus a modern guest house by Philip Johnson.
And to Make the mix more interesting will see a small Post Modern skyscraper with a nice optical illusion and 3 Historically styled skyscrapers.

For the three hour walking tour each participant is given an itinerary with over 28 stops
which include 17 New York City landmarks & 7 national landmarks
The charge for the three hour tour is $180.
All stops are fully discussed.

This Walking Tour of Midtown's Past and Present Features:

  • Landmark examples of New York's best modern skyscrapers (The international style)
  • The Waldorf= Astoria and the original Waldorf=Astoria, what it looked like and the family feud that precipitated it
  • "The Spirit of Achievement" by: Nina Saemundsson - "Abundance" by: Charles Keck
  • "The Wheel of Life" and 13 allegorical oil murals by: Louis Rigal
  • St. Bartholomew Church and a remnant from the past
    And "The Story of Creation" by Hildreth Mier
  • A landmark neo Georgian mansion styled after Virginia Manor on the James River
  • A landmark neo Tudor townhouse from 1910
  • The Brook Clubhouse,, a private Federal style clubhouse here from 1925
  • An Italian Renaissance inspired mansion from 1906
  • The Lipstick Building
  • A French 2nd Empire styled wood frame home from 1866
  • Citigroup Center and St. Peterís Church
    optional: The Chapel of the Good Shepard with its 5 sided sculptural environment created by the abstract, expressionist designer sculptor, Louise Nevelson
  • A Beaux Arts styled hospital from 1902
  • A landmark Rockefeller Guest House from 1950
  • A English Renaissance mansion from 1907
  • The landmark Ritz Tower from 1927
  • A landmark hotel that looks like it escaped from Florida
  • Brick Sculpture by Aleksandra Kasuba
  • The original G.E. Building - a beautiful landmark Art Deco skyscraper, given away as a gift
  • Lever House and the Seagram Building both both modern (International Style II) style, New York City landmark skyscrapers & both are
    considered precursors to the Minimalist movement and both rotate their art collections for the benefit of the public.
  • The Mutual of America Bldg. and Banco Santander Bldg. two Post Modern skyscrapers, both with references to architectural styles from the past
  • The Four Seasons Hotel, 1993, designed by I. M. Pei
  • Walter Gropius' only building in New York
  • The Tennis and Racquet Club (scaled to the avenue)
  • The Oldest Synagogue Building in New York, still in continuous use as a synagogue by the original congregation
  • Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish are interred in a columbarium in the church's undercroft
  • Heron Tower - a Post Modern skyscraper with an optical illusion
  • The Chippendale Skyscraper, Philip Johnson's first Post Modern building
  • Frank Stella's "Salta nel mio Sacco"
  • The IBM Building with an environmental sculpture that contains the buildings address
  • An example of deconstructivism in a small New York City skyscraper
  • The Fuller Bldg. an Art Deco building with a modernistic entrance in 1928 and much more
  • Also you will find out about: the destruction of a showroom designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,and the "Manhattan Cannibal"
  • Optional:      A small New York City landmark Art Deco skyscraper from 1930 and
    The Crown Bldg. a Historically styled skyscraper that combines Art Deco and French Renaissance Chateau styles
    plus a hi-rise that combines Art Deco and neo-Gothic styles

Meet in front of 300 Park Ave between E.49 St. and E. 50 St.
#6 train to East 51 St. & Lexington Ave. or the E or F Train to Lexington Ave. (53 St.)

Interested in a Private Walking Tour" ?
Call: (212) 979-2388 for details 
or : E Mail Me

You can choose a special tour that focuses exclusively on the public art in Midtown. Works by such well known artist as:
Frank Steller, Jean Dubuffet, Fernand Leger, Robert Cook, Damien Hirst, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Stuart Davis, Luis Sanguino, Michael Heizer, and others.
Click for a special: "Midtown Art on Display Walking Tour"
or "A Walking Tour of Rockefeller Center's Public Art Display"

All Tours Guided by Alfred Pommer, college graduate, an informative native New Yorker and a licensed New York City guide,
with over 25 years experience researching, creating and leading walking tours in Manhattan's many diverse neighborhoods.
Alfred Pommer is the author of 4 Manhattan armchair guide books:   "Exploring Gramercy Park and Union Square" 2015,
"Exploring Manhattan's Murray Hill" 2013, "Exploring New York's SoHo" 2012 &, "Exploring The Original West Village" 2011
All published by the History Press ( and Arcadia Publications (
And are available at local book stores,, Barnes & Noble, from The History Press, Arcadia Publications, & from Alfred Pommer.
This is a link to Alfred Pommer's author page at

The Vanderbilt Row & Other 19th Century Mansions Walking Tour
Architecture -- History -- Interesting Pictures and Stories

A Walking Tour of the Past and the Present

The walking tour is about 2½ to 3 hours long or a 3 to 3½ hour version
Each participant is given an itinerary:
The 2½ to 3 hour tour has 21 stops which include 17 New York City landmarks and 6 national landmarks
The 3 hour to 3½ hour tour has 26 stops which include 19 New York City landmarks and 6 national landmarks
The charge for the 2½ a half hour tour to 3 hour tour is $150.
The charge for the 3 hour to 3½ hour tour is $180. - All stops are fully discussed.

The prosperity generated in New York by the dramatic technological advances (the telephone, electric lights, the safety elevator, skyscrapers, the early automobile and more) and the infrastructure development (Croton Reservoir, rapid transit, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Depot) encouraged the explosive growth that included new institutions such as: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Museum of Natural History, The Lenox Library, the New YorK Public Library and others along with the luxurious private mansions came opulent theaters, opera houses and restaurants. The grandeur and size of New York city escalated into what became known as The Gilded Age (a period that started at the end of the Civil War and lasted in to the turn of the 20th century). This era created a unprecedented number of large individual fortunes that may well have been symbolized by the mansions appearing on 5th Ave. at the turn of the 20th century. "Vanderbilt Row" was an excellent example / symbol of the Gilded Age, It consisted of consisted of 10 Vanderbilt mansions on 5th Ave that mingled with the mansions of other wealthy New Yorkers from W. 51 St. to W. 58 St.
Also on 5th Ave. there was "Marble Row" between E. 57 St. & E. 58 St. and Mansard Row" between E. 55 St. & E. 56 St. These mansions were demolished but as we walk through the area we will see many existing buildings that started as mansions of other prominent and wealthy New Yorkers of the era - also I will point out the sites of a number of demolished mansions of the past - show pictures of what they looked like and discuss some related information about the mansions and their owners.

We will pass the sites of:

  • The Cornelius Vanderbilt II Stable and see what it looked like in 1880
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt II Mansion built 1880
  • Marble Row built 1869
  • Colin P. Huntington Mansion
  • L. P. Hollander &: Co. Building
  • Theodore Roosevelt Sr. House
  • Dr. Theodore Thomas House
  • The first Plaza Hotel from 1889
  • Mansard Row built 1870
  • John D. Rockefeller's first and only mansion in New York City
  • Hamilton & Florence (Vanderbilt) Twombly Mansion and the William & Eliza (Vanderbilt) Webb Mansion
  • William K. Vanderbilt Jr. Mansion and William K. Vanderbilt Sr. Mansion
  • William Henry Vanderbilt built: the 'Brownstone Twins" also known as "The Triple Palace" actually three mansions
  • Madame Restell's (Mrs. Anne Lohman also call: Madame Killer) Mansion

All (except for 7) of the below listed stops are survivors from the Gilded Age on / or near 5th Ave. and Vanderbilt Row.
All the structures listed below are still there and make up the bulk of the tour

This 2½ to 3 hour Walking Tour Features Present Day Survivors of the Past:

  • Several Landmark Turn of the Last Century Mansions on one block (designed by such well kown turn of last centruy archtitects as:
    Stanford White, John Ducan, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Robert H. Roberson)
  • Several Windows designed by Rene Laique, an internationally acclaimed French craftsman
  • The landmark Plaza Hotel
  • A beautiful Art Deco mural of Manhattan Island, from 1930
  • The University Club a nice landmark example of the "Palace Style"
  • The Crown Building, a historically decorated skyscraper with Art Deco set backs
  • St. Thomas Church, a unique altar and a famous Baroque painting from 1620
  • originally: Harry B. Hollis Mansion
  • originally: Birdsall Otis Edey Mansion
  • originally: William H. Moore Mansion
  • originally: George W. Vanderbilt Townhouse once part of "The Marble Twins"
  • Aeolian Bldg., a Classical styled office bldg with French Renaissance details. by Warren & Wetmore
  • Rockefeller Apartment Bldg. an example of European Modern from 1938
  • originally: Morton & Nelie Plant Mansion, given away for a string of pearls
  • 5th Ave. Presbyterian Church from 1875
  • The landmark Henry Villard Houses
  • The Look Building, probably the best of the tasteless white brick towers of the 1950's
  • originally: The Vanderbilt Guest House
  • Olympic Tower and replicas of the Parthenon

The 3 to 3½ Hour Version Includes:

  • Edith A. Logan Townhouse, remodeled 1904
  • E. Hayward Ferry Townhouse, remodeled 1907
  • Henry Seligman Townhouse, 1901
  • Dr. William Morton Townhouse from 1882
  • originally: John Pierce Mansion

Meet at: Northeast corner of E. 58 St. and Madison Ave.
#4, #5, or #6 train to East 59 St. & Lexington Ave. or the E or V Train to Lexington Ave. (53 St.) or R Train to 59 St. & 5th Ave.

All Tours Guided by Alfred Pommer, college graduate, an informative native New Yorker, a licensed New York City guide,
and an author of four Manhattan guide books with over 27 years experience researching, creating and leading walking tours
in Manhattan's many diverse neighborhoods.   This is a link to Alfred Pommer's author page at

Interested in a Private Walking Tour" ?
Call: (212) 979-2388 for details 
or E Mail Me :