In 1922, multi millionaire Guy F. Cary, a prominent New York attorney, commissioned Mott B. Schmidt to build a large georgian mansion on upper Fifth Avenue for him and his second wife, Cynthia Roche. The cost of the mansion was $1.3 million.
Architectural Elevation and Floor Plans
Besides New York City, the couple also wintered in Newport RI, at the Roche cottage 'Elm Court'. The Carys, especially Cynthia, were prominent art collectors and they amassed an extremely extensive art collection, now housed at the Redwood Library and known as the Cynthia Cary Art Collection. They filled both their homes with their wonderful collection of artwork, tapestries and sculptures.
Cynthia Cary Made Yearly Trips To Europe To Buy Artwork
The Cary Townhouse Contained The Largest Private Wine Cellar on Fifth Avenue
The Carys lived in their townhouse during the winters and Newport in the summers for 28 years. In 1950, Guy died at his philadelphia estate, leaving the home and a bottomless bank account to Cynthia. Since 'Elm Court' was already owned by Cynthia, Guy left her some rental property downtown. Cynthia was devastated and closed down the townhouse and headed off for Newport, though she was back next season and living in the townhouse. She continued to winter there every year until her death in 1966.
Entrance To Backyard Garden
Cynthia's son, Guy Jr, lived in the home for a time. He was already sharing 'Elm Court' in Newport with his siblings, when he decided to sell the mansion and downsize to an apartment. He emptied the wine cellar (he had made sure to find an apartment that had a wine cellar big enough to accommodate all his mother's wine collection, which had decreased in later years), shipped the art collection to 'Elm Court' and evicted the servants (some of whom were working for them in Newport). Christie's of Manhattan was called in and the furnishings and jewelry were auctioned off. The mansion in turn was sold to the Dalton School, who are still in residence today.
Photos of the mansion, courtesy of Mott B. Schmidt.