Samuel Tilden (an eminent lawyer, reformer and governor of New York State [1875-6]) commissioned Calvert Vaux (Frederick Law Olmsted's collaborator on Central Park) to combine and remodel two adjacent row houses facing the park. A proponent of the High Victorian Gothic style, which was influenced by Ruskin's theories on architecture, Vaux transformed the building's facade into a complex, asymmetrical composition with historical details, polychromy and botanical ornament. Sculptural busts of Shakespeare, Milton, Franklin, Goethe and Dante project from the facade and allude to Tilden's library--books that would eventually become part of the New York Public Library's core collection. Today, the building houses the National Arts Club.

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Tilden House (National Arts Club)
15 Gramercy Park South, remodeled by Calvert Vaux [1885]