61 East 91st Street
New York, NY, USA

  • Architectural Style: Georgian
  • Bathroom: N/A
  • Year Built: 1922
  • National Register of Historic Places: N/A
  • Square Feet: 1,782 sqft
  • National Register of Historic Places Date: N/A
  • Neighborhood: Brownsville
  • National Register of Historic Places Area of Significance: N/A
  • Bedrooms: N/A
  • Architectural Style: Georgian
  • Year Built: 1922
  • Square Feet: 1,782 sqft
  • Bedrooms: N/A
  • Bathroom: N/A
  • Neighborhood: Brownsville
  • National Register of Historic Places: N/A
  • National Register of Historic Places Date: N/A
  • National Register of Historic Places Area of Significance: N/A
Neighborhood Resources:

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Mar 23, 2023

  • Charmaine Bantugan

Guy Fairfax Cary House

Built in 1922, for Guy Fairfax Cary (1879-1950) and his wife, the Hon. Cynthia Burke Roche (1884-1966). It was designed by Mott B. Schmidt in the Neo-Georgian style that perhaps reminded Cynthia of the London she knew through her father - an Anglo-Irish Lord, ancestor of Princess Diana and Oliver Platt, and a compulsive gambler and womanizer to boot. Their elegant house that they filled with their notable collection of antiques is better known today as the largest part of the Dalton School, and some may recognize it from when it appeared in Woody Allen's 1979 film Manhattan. Guy and Cynthia Cary were rare among the New York elite on account that both of them came from titled families. Cynthia, as already stated, was the daughter of the 3rd Lord Fermoy, whereas Guy was a great-grandson of the 9th Lord Fairfax for whose family Fairfax County in Virginia is named - 40,000-acres of which was still owned by the 9th Lord who was among the last guests invited to Mount Vernon before Washington died. Cynthia's first husband, Arthur Scott Burden, died in 1921. His premature death from the effects of a fall while playing polo at Oak Hill was the second tragedy to befall the Burden family following the premature death of Natica Rives Burden in 1908. Cynthia and Natica had been great friends and were described as being, "girls of exceptional charm and vivacity and (they) had few rivals for popularity". Cynthia's popularity saw her remarried by July the following year to Guy at Elm Court in front of 70 close friends and family, surrounded by 11,000-Columbia Roses plus "thousands of other blossoms, together with potted plants, ferns and palms". By the time they returned from their honeymoon at Bertie Goelet's fishing lodge in Quebec, their townhouse was all but complete. Their imposing 5-story red brick townhouse contained 23-rooms, 10-bathrooms and 2-elevators. It cost $1.3 million to build and occupied a plot measuring 51-by-100.8-feet. The Carys were both passionate about antiques and over the years they filled their home with an impressive collection. The "Cynthia Cary Collection" at the Redwood Library in Newport remains perhaps one of its most significant gifts. Collected by the Carys over several decades it contains nearly 200 English and Continental pattern books of furniture, decoration and ornament dating from the late 15th to the mid-19th century, plus, "a blend of builder’s manuals and gentleman’s folios (providing) a window into period building techniques and the diffusion of architectural knowledge and its styles and fashions". After Guy Cary died in 1950 his widow moved permanently to Elm Court in Newport - where she was a well-known sight, easily recognizable wherever she went shaded by her, "perpetual parasol". The house in Manhattan was left to their son, Guy Fairfax Cary Jr., who briefly lived here before selling it in 1952 to be used as a nursing and convalescent home referred to as "Park Town House" under the direction of Mrs L.L. Gaines. The artwork, furniture and fine wine that didn't make it to Newport was sold off by Christies of New York. But, aside from the gift to the Redwood Library, other gifts were made too, such as a portrait by Henry Raeburn that Guy Jr. gave to the Met Museum in memory of his mother. Ironically, the subject - the "unruly" George Harley Drummond - "ruined his life by gambling and dissipation," just as Mrs Cary's father had done, and one wonders if she knew the subject's story when she paid Knoedler $36,000 for it in 1916. It shows the subject standing next to a horse's behind - did it contain a subliminal message? In 1964, the Dalton School acquired the property, "providing an ideal setting for kindergartners and first graders" and it remains part of the school campus to this day.

Guy Fairfax Cary House

Built in 1922, for Guy Fairfax Cary (1879-1950) and his wife, the Hon. Cynthia Burke Roche (1884-1966). It was designed by Mott B. Schmidt in the Neo-Georgian style that perhaps reminded Cynthia of the London she knew through her father - an Anglo-Irish Lord, ancestor of Princess Diana and Oliver Platt, and a compulsive gambler and womanizer to boot. Their elegant house that they filled with their notable collection of antiques is better known today as the largest part of the Dalton School, and some may recognize it from when it appeared in Woody Allen's 1979 film Manhattan. Guy and Cynthia Cary were rare among the New York elite on account that both of them came from titled families. Cynthia, as already stated, was the daughter of the 3rd Lord Fermoy, whereas Guy was a great-grandson of the 9th Lord Fairfax for whose family Fairfax County in Virginia is named - 40,000-acres of which was still owned by the 9th Lord who was among the last guests invited to Mount Vernon before Washington died. Cynthia's first husband, Arthur Scott Burden, died in 1921. His premature death from the effects of a fall while playing polo at Oak Hill was the second tragedy to befall the Burden family following the premature death of Natica Rives Burden in 1908. Cynthia and Natica had been great friends and were described as being, "girls of exceptional charm and vivacity and (they) had few rivals for popularity". Cynthia's popularity saw her remarried by July the following year to Guy at Elm Court in front of 70 close friends and family, surrounded by 11,000-Columbia Roses plus "thousands of other blossoms, together with potted plants, ferns and palms". By the time they returned from their honeymoon at Bertie Goelet's fishing lodge in Quebec, their townhouse was all but complete. Their imposing 5-story red brick townhouse contained 23-rooms, 10-bathrooms and 2-elevators. It cost $1.3 million to build and occupied a plot measuring 51-by-100.8-feet. The Carys were both passionate about antiques and over the years they filled their home with an impressive collection. The "Cynthia Cary Collection" at the Redwood Library in Newport remains perhaps one of its most significant gifts. Collected by the Carys over several decades it contains nearly 200 English and Continental pattern books of furniture, decoration and ornament dating from the late 15th to the mid-19th century, plus, "a blend of builder’s manuals and gentleman’s folios (providing) a window into period building techniques and the diffusion of architectural knowledge and its styles and fashions". After Guy Cary died in 1950 his widow moved permanently to Elm Court in Newport - where she was a well-known sight, easily recognizable wherever she went shaded by her, "perpetual parasol". The house in Manhattan was left to their son, Guy Fairfax Cary Jr., who briefly lived here before selling it in 1952 to be used as a nursing and convalescent home referred to as "Park Town House" under the direction of Mrs L.L. Gaines. The artwork, furniture and fine wine that didn't make it to Newport was sold off by Christies of New York. But, aside from the gift to the Redwood Library, other gifts were made too, such as a portrait by Henry Raeburn that Guy Jr. gave to the Met Museum in memory of his mother. Ironically, the subject - the "unruly" George Harley Drummond - "ruined his life by gambling and dissipation," just as Mrs Cary's father had done, and one wonders if she knew the subject's story when she paid Knoedler $36,000 for it in 1916. It shows the subject standing next to a horse's behind - did it contain a subliminal message? In 1964, the Dalton School acquired the property, "providing an ideal setting for kindergartners and first graders" and it remains part of the school campus to this day.

1922

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