Sunday, June 13, 2010
" Staircases of the Gilded Age" The Astor Townhouse
The Grand Staircase of "The Mrs. Astor" in her townhouse at 65th street & Fifth Avenue. Probably one of the best staircases ever designed by Richard Morris Hunt to make an entrance for the throngs of New York Society awaiting the arrival of their Queen. It has been said the Mrs. Astor acquired many jewels from the French court and that when she wore them, she shimmered like a chandelier.
According to legend, Mrs. Astor in the last years of her life, would get all dressed up in her finest Worth gowns and put on her jewels and descend her stair and receive her guests, now long gone. Living in a dreamlike trance of her past great social events.
This staircase was a twin staircase on the other side of the wall, which belonged to her son, John Jacob Astor in his matching townhouse. This can be seen in the floorplans, in my other Astor Post.