Friday, August 3, 2012

The William Watts Sherman Mansion, New York City

When millionaire William Watts Sherman decided to build a large, imposing residence at the corner of 838 Fifth Avenue, located in the heart of the fashionable district, he was building a townhouse that would be one of the first of it's kind, and sadly also one of the last.

Sophia Augusta Brown Was William's Second Wife And His Most Socially Prominent, She Brought Elegance, Taste And Social Prominence To The Sherman Family

After he bought the lot he handed it over, along with a blank check, to his wife, Sophia Augusta Brown, and decamped to his cottage in Newport RI, which people called The William Watts Sherman Villa, one of the few residences in Newport not to have a name. Sophia commissioned her relatives John Nicholas Brown, Harold Brown (of the Harold Brown Villa in Newport) and G. W. R Matteson to build the residence, while she would design the interiors. Construction was completed in 1898 and the Sherman's moved in shortly after.

The Sherman Residence Had An Art Gallery That Doubled As A Ballroom, Just Like The Astor Mansion Across The Street

 The ground floor held the drawing room, library, dining room, pantries, carriage HQ and the stables. The second floor held the parlor, breakfast room or small dining room, boudoir, den and the art gallery at the rear. The third and fourth floors held guest bedrooms, bathrooms, boudoirs, Mr. and Mrs. Sherman's private master suites and servants rooms. The fifth floor held servant's rooms, the servant's sitting room, a bathroom, and a storage room.

The Sherman Residence At The Far End Was Surrounded By Fashionable Residences Such As The Astor Mansion, Havemeyer Mansion, Ware Mansion, And The Wormser Mansion.

The interiors were comfortable but still elegant and still able to accommodate entertaining. Sophia would regularly turn the art gallery into a ballroom, as ballroom dancing became more and more popular, and would neither hesitate to remove the furniture from the library and dining room and open them up to create one large banquet hall.

The Drawing Room Was Where Mrs. Sherman Greeted Guests In Front Of Her Signature Portrait

The Dining Room Held The Sherman's China Collection And A Large Tapestry, Formerly In The Sherman's Newport Estate

The Library Was Where William Watts Sherman Conducted Business, Read His Favorite Books And Smoked Freely Without Worrying About His Wife

Shortly after building their New York City townhouse, the Shermans decided to renovate their Newport villa and it's grounds. The renovations included adding a ballroom and service wing and redoing the second floor bedrooms. On the property they added new stables, gardens, trees and water fountains. The total renovations costed some $200,000.

With The Ballroom Addition In The Back, Sophia Was Now Able To Hold Even Larger Parties Than She had Held Before

When William died in 1912, his estate valued at $35 million. He left Sophia $15 million and both of their homes (Sophia had just recently inherited $30 million from her mother so she didn't even need William's $15 million legacy), his daughters each inherited $3 million and the rest mostly went to charities.

When William Died, It Was Just The Beginning Of Sophia's Social Career As A Hostess And She Started Giving Lavish parties Several Times A Week

Shortly after William died, Sophia promptly had the stables, carrriage HQ and the art gallery above removed and installed a brand new, 2 story high ballroom, with large chandeliers and windows. The art gallery was moved to the storage room on the fifth floor, which had been turned into a large, brand new room with a skylight and marble floors. Sophia opened the ballroom with a large ball for 200 of society's best people.

The Ballroom Had Large Windows With Views Of Sophia's Neighbor's Backyard And Of The Street

Sophia continued to live their and at her Newport villa for many years, entertaining just as lavishly as she always had. Just like many New Yorkers, she was fully aware that commercial invasion was quickly approaching her and her neighbors. By the 1920's, commercial invasion had completely engulfed lower Fifth Avenue and the Cornelius Vanderbilt II mansion, the largest home ever built in New York City, once considered to be the biggest building in the city, now crouched in the shadows of the massive skyscrapers the surrounded it.

The Large Vanderbilt Mansion Seemed Small Compared To The Massive Skyscrapers Surrounding It And The Tower Of Babel-Like Heckscher Building Behind It

The invasion eventually reached Sophia and her neighbors and soon the townhouse around her would torn down and replaced with apartment towers that shadowed over the remaining townhouses. Many New Yorkers finally gave up and decamped to Newport, selling their palaces to developers who replaced them with massive buildings and skyscrapers. By 1925 The Astors, who still occupied Caroline Astor's large marble palace, were Sophia's only neighbors who weren't commercial buildings.

The Astor Family Had Continued To Occupy Caroline Astor's, The Dictator Of The List Of New York City's Elite "The 400" Which The William Watts Shermans Were A Part Of, Large French Palace, Even Though Taxes Had Risen To $130,000 A Year

In January of 1925, Vincent Astor finally sold the Astor family mansion and moved to a much smaller residence father uptown, far away from commercial invasion. Sophia refused to give up and continued to live and entertain at her New York City townhouse. One by one the others came down too, The Henry O. Havemeyer Mansion, Oliver Payne Mansion, James E. Ware mansion and the George Gould Mansion.

With The 1930's Came The End Of Many Of The Great New York City Townhouses And Only A Few Scattered Mansions Were Left

Sophia and a few other continued to reign in their townhouses, but it didn't matter, one by one those townhouses came down too and up went skyscrapers. The main problems that put an end to these homes was that either their wealthy owners died or couldn't afford the taxes on them. One way the owners could get rid of their massive palaces was to donate their palaces to museums, charities or institutions, like Doris Duke, Frieda Warburg and Edith Fabbri, but most homes were sold and torn down.

                          Sophia's Beloved Townhouse Was The Last In A Sea Of Skyscrapers

Sophia finally gave up in 1940, when she moved to Newport, although she continued to keep the townhouse running, unable to demolish her husband's final gift to her. In 1945, Sophia attended a party given by The Newbolds at their New York City residence in honor of the few New York City mansions left. In 1947, Sophia died at her Newport villa and 3 years later her New York City townhouse fell to the wrecker's ball.


  1. 4 of the grandest apt houses on Fifth in that last pic.820,834 next to the mansion,4E 66th st and 2E 67th st.

  2. If I'm not mistaken, the photo of the new, post-1912 ballroom is actually the East Room of the White House after the McKim, Mead, and White renovation for Theodore Roosevelt.

  3. You are absolutely correct! That IS the East Room, shortly after Pres. Teddy Roosevelt's 1902 Renovations by McKim, Mead & White.

  4. Greatest thanks to Dr Oyagu for his herbal drugs that he prepared for me and when i start using it in just 2weeks i was completely cured and that ended my HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 DISEASE i am so happy and grateful to Dr Oyagu . after reading about him on a testimony of Jason Cash on a blogger. i knew suddenly Dr Oyagu was the right Doctor to cure my HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 DISEASE. i discuss with Dr Oyagu and he prepared a herbal medicine for me and when it got sent to me in south korean . i used the herbal medicine and 2weeks and i went to check up again. after 15years of suffering from HERPES SIMPLEX 1&2 at last i am smiling once again. Dr Oyagu also has remedy to others disease like COLD SORES,HIV/AIDS,DIABETES.CANCER,HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND MANY MORE. I oblige everyone to contact this powerful herbalist Dr Oyagu and be free from your suffering. contact his WhatsApp line: +2348101755322 or his

  5. "...the largest home ever built in New York City, once considered to be the biggest building in the city, now crouched in the shadows of the massive skyscrapers the surrounded it." A good history!

  6. How I Got My Ex Husband Back...........

    I am Shannon by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Mako. His email: OR.His WhatsApp Number:+2347054263874.

  7. How I Got My Husband Back. My husband who departed from me 2 years ago started calling me and wanted us to get back Dr Sambo love spell made my husband to reconcile with me. When he came back he was all on me kissing and rubbing on me telling me how much he missed me and loves me, Dr Sambo is spectacular in repairing relationship! His work is wonderful, i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. Because i am now happy with  my husband. I highly recommending this service for those experiencing difficulties trying to restore there relationship. he is the real deal. you can reach Dr. Sambo his contact details seen below:  chat live with him on WhatsApp now +2348145810121

  8. I Want To Appreciate Dr OYAGU for his great deeds, I Was Diagnosed With type 2 Herpes Virus Last year,And i Was Looking For Solution To Be Cured Luckily I Saw Testimonies On How Dr OYAGU Cure Herpes Virus I Decided To Contact Dr OYAGU I Contacted Him He Prepared A Herbal Medicine Portion And Sent It To Me,I Started The Herbal Medicine For My Health.He Gave Me Step By Step Instructions On How To Apply It, When I Applied It As Instructed, I Was Cured Of This Deadly Herpes Within 2 weeks, I Am Now Herpes Negative.My Brother And Sister I No That There Are So Many People That Have The Same Herpes Virus Please contact Dr OYAGU To Help You Too,And Help Me To Thank Dr OYAGU For Cure Me, I’m Cured By Dr. OYAGU Herbal Medicine,His Contact or viste his website
    Or Cell Whatsapp Number +2348101755322 thank you

  9. I'm 40 years old female I tested genital herpes (HSV1-2) positive in 2016. I was having bad outbreaks. EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I have try different kinds of drugs and treatment by the medical doctors all to know was avail. Six months ago I was desperately online searching for a helpful remedies for genital herpes (HSV1-2) cure, which I come across some helpful remedies on how Dr OYAGU have help so many people in curing genital herpes (HSV1-2) with the help of herbal treatment because I too believe there is someone somewhere in the world who can cure herpes completely. At of the past 2 months, however, I've been following his herpes protocol Via or +2348101755322 and it stopped all outbreaks completely! To my greatest surprise I was cured completely by following the protocol of his herbal medicine . Don't be discouraged by the medical doctors. There is a cure for HSV with the help of herbs and roots by a herbalist Dr call Dr OYAGU he is so kind and truthful with his herbal treatment, kindly contact him for more information Via or WhatsApp DR on +2348101755322 or visit his website you will be lucky as I am today

  10. I already gave up on ever getting cured of HSV2 because I have try many treatment none of them work out for me I have be to different hospital they always tell me same thing there is no cure for herpes when i came across a post about Dr oyagu, in the net from a lady called Rebecca I contacted him and he reassured me with his herbal medicine which I took according to the way he instructed, that how i was cured. I doubted at first because I have been to a whole lot of reputable doctors, tried a lot of medicines but none was able to cure me. so I decided to listen to him and he commenced treatment, and under two weeks I was totally free from Herpes. I want to say a very big thank you to DR oyagu for what he has done in my life. feel free to leave him a message on email and also WhatsApp him +2348101755322.. or visit his website He can still be able to help you with this herbs medicine: 1...ALS CURE/DIABETES CURE/EPILESY/HPV CURE/LUPUS/HEPATITIS/CANCER/GOUT

  11. To know more about Chief Dr Lucky you can visit his website (
     A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.


  12. Good luck to anyone reading this true life story of mine, I Was Diagnosed With type 2 Herpes Virus Last year, And I Was Looking For Solution To Be Cured Luckily I Saw Testimonies On How Dr OYAGU Cure Herpes Virus I Decided To Contact Dr OYAGU I Contacted Him He Prepared A Herbal Medicine Portion And Sent It To Me, I Started The Herbal Medicine For My Health. He Gave Me Step By Step Instructions On How To Apply It, When I Applied It As Instructed, I Was Cured Of This Deadly Herpes Within 2 weeks, I Am Now Herpes Negative. My Brother And Sister I No That There Are So Many People That Have The Same Herpes Virus Please contact Dr OYAGU To Help You Too, And Help Me To Thank Dr OYAGU For Cure Me, I’m Cured By Dr. OYAGU Herbal Medicine, His Contact or visit his website Or Cell Whatsapp Number +2348101755322 thank you


  13. I was diagnosed as HEPATITIS B carrier in 2013 with fibrosis of the
    liver already present. I started on antiviral medications which
    reduced the viral load initially. After a couple of years the virus
    became resistant. I started on HEPATITIS B Herbal treatment from
    ULTIMATE LIFE CLINIC ( in March, 2020. Their
    treatment totally reversed the virus. I did another blood test after
    the 6 months long treatment and tested negative to the virus. Amazing
    treatment! This treatment is a breakthrough for all HBV carriers.

  14. Are you seeking spiritual solution to solve your problems? Spiritual issues, Marriage Problems, Job problems, Relationship problems,pregnant problems, i am here to see you through, there is know problems without solution i am Dr sekpese udo contact me for any spiritual assistance.
    Whatsapp +1 (210) 436-6557

  15. I'm Tom Kingsley, It's been a while since I've
    written to thank Dr OHIKHOBO who helped me in my
    life. I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2016, i went to many
    hospitals for a cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I
    get a solution so that my body can be okay. One day my Aunt Rosa
    introduce me to Doctor OHIKHOBO having seen so many testimony online
    about his herbal medication to cure HERPES and gave me his , so I emailed him. He told me all the
    things I needed to do and also gave me instructions to follow, which I
    followed properly. Before I knew what was happening after one weeks the
    HERPES that was in my body vanished. so if you are you are having
    herpes or any kind of disease listed below
    And you also want cure, you can also email him at: or through his WhatsApp + 1-740-231-2427

  16. My Name is Elena I want to testify of the good work of Lord Zuma who helped me in achieving the goals, i was in a relationship for 4years with my boyfriend and everything was going so sweet i loved him and i believed he loved me more than anything in this world after a while i noticed some changes in him so i knew something was wrong i tried to pleases him in several ways but no outcome, shortly i noticed he was seeing another girl i tried to make him understand that i loved him so much but he wouldn't even listen, one day i read a testimony on a similar case a person testifying of the work of this great Lord Zuma even when i did not believe i was convinced by my girlfriend so i contacted him and let him know all my problems and he said i should not worry that everything will be okay for me, in 2days my lover came asking me to forgive him after giving Lord Zuma the information and the necessary things to carry out the work for me, so if you are going through any problem contact him he might be the answer to your problem, here is his email address. or WhatsApp him +1 506 800 1647.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...