Claude M. Gruener and Rick Wagner: Section Four, Sterling and Bloss: The After Years, Part 4
1923 Building Height Restriction Overturned
In 1923, while 920 Fifth was under construction, Architect J. E. R. Carpenter brought suit, and won a verdict overturning the height restriction on Fifth Avenue and changing the face of the Avenue forever. Carpenter argued that “the avenue would be greatly improved in appearance when deluxe apartments would replace the old-style mansions."
This information is significant for two reasons: 1) It gives an indication that the trend toward apartment dwelling for the rich was really starting to pressure the owners of the old residences along Sterling’s stretch of Fifth. 2) Since the majority of the apartment buildings are now what we find along current day Fifth, their construction dates have been an aid to the researchers in dating various events in Sterling and Bloss’ lives.
In 1922, Marcellus Hartley Dodge, the munitions heir who married the daughter of William Rockefeller, completed a large house on the northeast corner for Fifth Avenue and 61st Street. This rather nondescript red brick residence had the distinction of being the last mansion erected on Fifth Avenue.
Sections of the Gruener-Wagner Research Report
Guides to the Gruener-Wagner Research
In addition see:
Original entry on the lives of Sterling and Bloss by Jonathan Ned Katz.