A Master Class "Architecture is like frozen music" - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Architecture, art and music have come together in an unusual way on East 37th Street and Madison Avenue.
J.P. MORGAN RESIDENCE In 1894, the home of J.P. Morgan at 219 Madison Avenue at East 37th Street was the first private mansion in New York to have electric lights as a result of Morgan's financing Thomas Alva Edison's Electric Illuminating Company in 1878. In additional to backing and combining railroads, creating huge trusts in major industries and helping the US government solve several financial crises, he also amassed a vast private art collection. Owning two thirds of the block, Morgan hired McKim, Mead and White to create a magnificent home to house his art (which later went to the Met) and a library to accommodate his huge book collection. Called a "bookman's paradise", the Morgan Library has been a magnificent public institution and destination since 1913.
JOHN B. TREVOR, SR A Harvard law graduate and prominent New York attorney, John Trevor, Sr. worked for JP Morgan & Co, the owner of which would live across the street. In 1860, Trevor engaged David Robins to build 21 East 37th Street. Of the three Italianate mansions built together, 21 East 37th Street is the centerpiece and still retains its original elegant stoop.
THE RESIDENCE With an impressive 25 feet in width, this approximately 9,300sf townhouse features a beautiful restored L-shaped front stoop with a separate garden entry as well. The original massive wooden door and unique mosaics of the entry are intact.
With 13' 7" ceiling heights, the front of the parlor floor features a domed ceiling, a marble wood-burning fireplace, two large windows facing 37th Street, and leads to the exquisitely crafted music room. The detailed ornamentation on the ceiling along with the exceptional wainscoting and a marble wood-burning fireplace make this a unique entertaining room of a type rarely available. There is a kitchenette off the music room and a full bath in the extension on this level.
On the third floor, the front has been converted to a superintendent's apartment with a large sitting room and bedroom facing The Morgan Library on 37th Street, as well as a walk-in closet with full bath kitchenette. The rear of this floor includes a large bedroom with a walk-in closet and a full bath with several built-ins in the extension.
The fourth floor is similarly configured with a bedroom and sitting room with full bath and kitchenette in the front and a bedroom with a washer-dryer unit, a large walk-in closet and full bath in the rear. With an enormous skylight above the stair, the fifth floor front includes a bedroom and sitting room with a full bath as well as a large kitchen. The rear master bedroom includes an office, ample closet space, a large full bath, and a kitchenette. There is a curved stair to the open rooftop which includes views of The Morgan Library and The Empire State Building. The garden level, accessible via an entry below the stoop, is currently configured as a private office with a full bath and additional storage spaces but can be easily integrated into the rest of the townhouse and converted to a large eat-in kitchen off the garden.
EXCEPTIONAL ACOUSTICS The present owners have discovered that the rear parlor floor has exceptional concert quality acoustics. Musicians heading to Carnegie Hall recitals have been invited to come here over the years to test out their programs. Hearing a concert in the exceptional scale of this exquisitely carved ceiling is reminiscent of the height of the Gilded Age when the architecture of a room was as splendid as the music you were hearing.