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.


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