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LANDMARK WEST! offers programs and events throughout the year, including walking tours, book talks, adult education seminars, community gatherings and happy hours. Please join us to learn and share knowledge about the Upper West Side’s history, culture, architecture, and preservation efforts. RSVP as soon as possible, as space is often limited.  And make sure to keep your membership current to qualify for discounts and other perks!

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Home Sweet Mansion: A Peek into the Domestic Lives of Gilded Age New Yorkers

November 9 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

It was good to be a prosperous New Yorker in the late 19th century: beautiful clothing, expensive furnishings, well-kept parlors, and endless entertaining. But someone had to do the hard work of actually cooking and cleaning, and it certainly wasn’t the prosperous New Yorker.

At the Schwab Mansion, for instance, a 75-room home on Riverside Drive, the pantry bell box received signals from 56 rooms, including Mr. Schwab’s Room Nook, the Natatorium (swimming pool), the South West Guest Bath, the basement bowling alley and gym, and the North West Guest Room Nook (nooks were tower rooms). All across town, servants to the elite families of the Gilded Age dusted miles of wood paneling, shined mountains of silver and cleaned and pressed the many daily outfits of the ladies and men of the manor.

Esther Crain, founder of Ephemeral New York, invites us backstairs for a peek at just how the Gilded Age upper classes navigated the domestic side of life—and how a staff of maids, coachmen, and other servants managed the households inside the Upper West Side’s sumptuous mansions and elegant brownstones.

Speaker Esther Crain is a writer, editor, and native New Yorker. In 2008, she launched Ephemeral New York, a website that chronicles the city’s past through photos, newspaper articles, art, and other artifacts. She is the author of The Gilded Age in New York, 1870-1910 as well as New York City in 3D in the Gilded Age. Both the book and the website have been featured in the New York Times, the New York Post, The Daily News, and Time Out New York, among other publications.



November 9
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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