Prior to the Mansfield’s construction in 1903, an orphanage occupied the same real estate until 1867, followed by a three-story brick stable that was built to service the opulent mansions along Fifth Avenue owned by the era’s social “elite”, including notables such as the Vanderbilts, Goelets, Whitneys, Goulds and the Mills.
Then in 1890, one of the most celebrated Architects of the era, James Renwick, was retained to design the Mansfield Hotel. His masterful works include Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, The New York Public Library and St. Bartholomew’s Church, as well as many other historic buildings throughout the city.
Constructed in the popular Beaux Arts style, and influenced by neoclassical Roman and Greek architecture with these beautiful copper bay windows, the Mansfield was originally built as a hostelry for well-heeled bachelors and socialites. Notables such as painter John Butler Yeats, father of the poet William Butler Yeats, stayed to experience a thriving New York following his immigration from Ireland. During the 1950s, the Mansfield was home to Maz von Gurach, who was believed to be the inspiration for Jay Gatsby, from F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”