"Marble Row” was the row of white marble mansions on Fifth Avenue, between 57th and 58th Streets in Manhattan. Mary Mason Jones, daughter of John Mason (president of the Chemical National Bank), owned the first marble mansion, built in 1871. Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) also built a mansion on this block.
“Marble row” was cited in print in 1896 and was described in the book Fifth Avenue (1915). Taller buildings were constructed in this neighborhood in the 1900s and the famed marble row mansions were destroyed. Victoria Thompson’s Murder on Marble Row: A Gaslight Mystery (1904) describes life in Marble Row of the 1890s.
30 October 1896, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 7, col. 5:
CONDON SCHOOL SOLD.
Attachment for $2,200 Against E. B. Condon, the Former Proprietor.
The Condon school, which occupies the two buildings at 741 and 743 Fifth avenue, has changed hands. The Sheriff has received an attachment for $2,200 against its former proprietor, Edward B. Condon. The school is opposite Cornelius Vanderbilt’s house in the most southern house of the marble row.
Glances at the Vicissitudes and Romance of a World Renowned Thoroughfare
New York, NY: Printed for The Fifth Avenue Bank of New York
The block from 57th to 58th Streets, on the east side of the Avenue, was known for years as the “Marble Row.” The row was built by Mrs. Mary Mason Jones, daughter of John Mason, a former president of the Chemical National Bank, from whom she inherited the site.
The City in Slang:
New York Life and Popular Speech
By Irving Lewis Allen
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
The famous Marble Row on Fifth between 57th and 58th streets later was distinctly a Millionaires’ Row.
Lost New York
By Nathan Silver
New York, NY: Wings Books
Mary Mason Jones house, “Marble Row.” Northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street
New York (NY) Times
Streetscapes/57th Street and Fifth Avenue; An 1870 Marble Row, Built in an Age of Brownstones
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Published: April 7, 2002
THE facade repairs under way at the former Warner Brothers Studio Store, at the northeast corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, are removing the carved cartoon characters and restoring the building’s distinctive white marble, a longtime tradition of other facades in the area near the Plaza Hotel. As it happens, the tradition started on this same site, with the 1870 house of Mary Mason Jones, Edith Wharton’s great-aunt.
The architect Robert Mook designed a white marble mansion with a mansard roof, nominally following the expansive design of the palace at Fontainebleau in France, especially since it extended along the entire Fifth Avenue blockfront up to 58th Street with a series of matching houses built for Mrs. Jones, all completed in 1870 and called, collectively, Marble Row.
OCLC WorldCat record
Murder on Marble Row : a gaslight mystery
Author: Victoria Thompson
Publisher: New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2004.
Edition/Format: Print book : Fiction : English : 1st ed
Midwife Sarah Brandt and police detective Sergeant Frank Malloy investigate the arson murder of a wealthy industrialist, in a mystery set in turn-of-the-century New York City.
Curbed - NY
Looking Back at Manhattan’s Lost Gilded Age Mansions
Thursday, February 9, 2012, by Rob Bear
02/09/12 02:31 PM
Anyone who loves this post needs to get their hands on New York: Then and Now (not the crappy Marcia Reiss update but the Dover version), both versions of Lost New York (by Nathan Silver and ironically, Marcia Reiss), and Gotham Comes of Age. Or if you’re cheap, go to the Library of Congress and search through its digital collections for NYC architecture. They have more pictures of these mansions and when you see them, you’ll cry your eyes out. A long stretch of Fifth Avenue was lined with French chateaus, Richardsonian houses, and Beaux Arts mansions. That whole area up to where Bergdorf Goodman now stands was called “Marble Row.” The Cornelius Vanderbuilt II mansion (what BF replaced) was insane, looked like an aristocratic English estate out of Upstairs, Downstairs or something.