Book Spotlight: Gilded Mansions

Gilded Mansions by Wayne Craven For a detailed introduction to the architecture of the Gilded Age, Gilded Mansions: Grand Architecture and High Society, is a marvelous start. Though Craven makes a few mistakes about the New York society who inhabited the grand mansions along Fifth Avenue or the palatial “cottages” in Newport, the photographs of interiors and floorplans more than makes up for the sometimes overblown text. Gilded Mansions is pricey, but Craven manages to combine the best of social history and architecture with the glossy attraction of a coffee table book.

Click on the photos for a closer look:

Consuelo Vanderbilt

Gilded Mansions

Gilded Mansions

Gilded Mansions

Gilded Mansions

Gilded Mansions

Gilded Mansions

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6 replies on “Book Spotlight: Gilded Mansions”
  1. says: Julia

    I went to high school in Manhattan in a converted brownstone from that era. Can’t find photos on the website any longer, but here’s a friend’s high school.

    I was always glad that I took the time to enjoy how lucky I was to be surrounded by all of that beauty. I mean who has marble fireplaces in their classrooms?

    1. That is a gorgeous school! The art school I briefly attended after graduation housed its students in Victorian houses, and now that I look back, I think my dorm room was the sitting room. Unfortunately, they had boarded up the marble fireplaces long ago! I wish there was a greater appreciation for American architecture, because much of it is incredibly breathtaking and skilled.

      1. says: Julia

        We made a road trip after my daughter read The Wright 3 to see a Frank Loyd Wright building in Lakeland FL. Long drive, but it was so cool.

  2. says: Sharon

    I love your blog! I was just wondering-what exactly did the author get wrong about the New York inhabitants?

    1. Thank you Sharon!

      The inaccuracies weren’t too prominent, but the author mixed up a few names and addresses here and there. Otherwise, it’s a very good book for its subject, and has plenty of great pictures to give you a better glimpse of life for the “400.”

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