You don’t often hear Rihanna and Coldplay mentioned in the context of the Gilded Age, but Katie Holmes proved the two can happily coexist during her June 7 cover shoot for DuJour magazine, founded by Jason Binn.
At 123 East 35th Street stands an imposing Beaux-Arts mansion that has remained a private residence since it was built in 1903. This rare vestige of grandeur was built by James F.D. Lanier and his wife Harriet. The two were old-monied, prominent members of East Coast society who purchased two 1854 brownstones and quickly razed them to make way for his new house. He chose the firm of Hoppin & Koen to design the double wide, eight-story home. A verdigris copper mansard roof, cast iron railing and ionic pilasters made the house stand out beautifully, but not ostentatiously, among its more dour brownstone neighbors. The Laniers’ guests would have been awed by the classically designed entrance hall that features an arched-rose medallion ceiling that flows into a bright columned gallery illuminated by three leaded-glass skylights and a marble wall fountain. A mahogany staircase led guests to a sumptuous green and gold salon across from the warm, inviting oak paneled library.
Overnight visitors would stay in one of the equally grand nine bedrooms in the floors above with the staff nearby in their own wing. The James F.D. Lanier Residence stayed in the Lanier family until 1984, when it was purchased by its current owner. The home was recently listed by Edward F. Joseph of Christie’s International Real Estate for $33 million and, thanks to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, it will remain a living link to New York’s Gilded Age.