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Maiah
02-18-2011, 03:28 PM
If you were a rich New Yorker in 1900s (1900-1915) where would you and your family live?

If you were new money, how did you strike your first pot of gold?

alleycat
02-18-2011, 03:36 PM
You might want to be more specific about the time period. Many things would be similar between 1995 and 1905, but many things would be different as well.

For example, someone might have gotten rich in 1905 investing in railroads, in 1995 by investing in one of the cable/Internet media corporations. Of course, property ownership of the right sort has almost always been a source of wealth.

[Edited to add: I see you have now.]

alleycat
02-18-2011, 04:18 PM
Just one idea for becoming rich during that era.

The early 1900s were turbulent times for finance, banking, and stocks (there were few regulations then and there were all sorts of shenanigans). I assume you want your character to "strike it rich" rather than slowly built his wealth. In that case, some sort of speculation might work. Your character invests in a company (make one up, such as the Alliance Iron Ore and Steel Company); your character invests in the company and "makes a killing".

PeterL
02-18-2011, 06:41 PM
J. P. Morgan lived on Madison Ave. His house is now part of The Morgan Library & Museum. In 1910 rich people lived where they wanted to live.

stormie
02-18-2011, 06:51 PM
There's a good book, well researched, on New York, esp. the upper class, from the 1600s to 2001. And portion takes place in the early 1900s. It's New York: The Novel (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=New+York+the+novel)by E. Rutherfurd.

Lil
02-18-2011, 08:46 PM
The Frick mansion, at Fifth Avenue and 70th Street, now a museum, was built in 1913. On the West Side, there was the Dakota apartment building at Central Park West and 72nd Street, or the Ansonia residential Hotel on Broadway at 74th Street (Caruso lived there, as did Babe Ruth and many others).

Stick close to Fifth Avenue, Riverside Drive or Central Park West. Don't head too close to the East River. That was for immigrants. Avoid the Lower East Side. Greenwich Village was becoming "artistic" by then.

alleycat
02-18-2011, 08:48 PM
The Frick mansion, at Fifth Avenue and 70th Street, now a museum, was built in 1913. On the West Side, there was the Dakota apartment building at Central Park West and 72nd Street, or the Ansonia residential Hotel on Broadway at 74th Street (Caruso lived there, as did Babe Ruth and many others).

Stick close to Fifth Avenue, Riverside Drive or Central Park West. Don't head too close to the East River. That was for immigrants. Avoid the Lower East Side. Greenwich Village was becoming "artistic" by then.
Was Brooklyn Heights still fashionable then?

mtrenteseau
02-19-2011, 02:09 AM
If you were a rich New Yorker in 1900s (1900-1915) where would you and your family live?

If you were new money, how did you strike your first pot of gold?

The Mrs. William B. Astor House was built in 1893 on Fifth Avenue at 65th Street. As Lil mentioned, the Frick House was built in 1913 at 70th Street.

Apartment buildings were just starting to become acceptable for the wealthiest families - 998 Fifth Avenue was built at 81st Street in 1912.

There was still a lot of money to be made in the railroads and in real estate.

I just finished Triumvirate, a history of McKim, Mead, and White - most of the story takes place before your time period, but it describes the wealthiest families of New York (and how they were intermarried), and where they built their homes.

Belle_91
02-19-2011, 02:16 AM
In the Luxe Series, the MCs were wealthy and lived on 5th Avenue

The Vanderbuilts lived here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanderbilt_houses
-I know it's wikipedia, but maybe you can confirm their findings, or hopefully at least they will put you in the right direction

stormie
02-19-2011, 05:09 AM
Remember: The old rich looked down on the new rich (nouveau riche), even if the new rich had more money.

In that book I mentioned before, more of the new rich took right away to living in an apartment at the Dakota,which was built around 1885. The old rich thought that was declasse, even if those apartments were spectacular. The Vanderbilts, etc, mostly lived in the mansions.

mtrenteseau
02-19-2011, 07:29 AM
Remember: The old rich looked down on the new rich (nouveau riche), even if the new rich had more money.

In that book I mentioned before, more of the new rich took right away to living in an apartment at the Dakota,which was built around 1885. The old rich thought that was declasse, even if those apartments were spectacular. The Vanderbilts, etc, mostly lived in the mansions.

In 1883, the Astors considered the Vanderbilts to be "new money." In the midst of a row of huge brownstone mansions along 5th Avenue south of Central Park, William K Vanderbilt and his social-climbing wife Alva built a huge white mansion.

In 1924 the Dodges built a house at 5th Avenue and 61st Street (not the automobile Dodges; she was a Rockefeller and he was the heir to Remington, the gun manufacturer). So anything between 61st Street and 80th Street on Fifth or Madison Avenue would be believable.

blacbird
02-19-2011, 09:39 AM
If you were a rich New Yorker in 1900s (1900-1915) where would you and your family live?

Read ye some Edith Wharton, specifically:

The Age of Innocence
The House of Mirth
The Custom of the Country
Old New York
Hudson River Bracketed

A daughter of this society, she was the best ever at putting into fiction this particular period of New York society mores.

stormie
02-19-2011, 10:03 PM
In 1883, the Astors considered the Vanderbilts to be "new money." In the midst of a row of huge brownstone mansions along 5th Avenue south of Central Park, William K Vanderbilt and his social-climbing wife Alva built a huge white mansion.

Yes. What Maiah is asking takes place about twenty years after '83 though. A lot happened socially and geographically in Manhattan within those years. And as I said, the "new rich" embraced the Dakota and the old rich didn't. But that's generally speaking, not all-encompassing.

And also, as blacbird said, Edith Wharton is also an excellent source for how society was in NYC at that time.

mtrenteseau
02-21-2011, 06:58 AM
Yes. What Maiah is asking takes place about twenty years after '83 though. A lot happened socially and geographically in Manhattan within those years. And as I said, the "new rich" embraced the Dakota and the old rich didn't. But that's generally speaking, not all-encompassing.

And also, as blacbird said, Edith Wharton is also an excellent source for how society was in NYC at that time.

I don't disagree. I only meant to point out that what was "old money" in 1903 might not have been old for very long.

Edith Wharton was born "old money" and was a strong defender of the old order; ironically, she was sometimes looked down upon by her social equals because she'd dared take on a profession, even one as genteel as writing.

I'd also recommend Louis Auchincloss; his East Side Story is written from the perspective of twelve members of the same family over a hundred years.