The rise and fall of the Vanderbilt family still pervades American historical lore and the remnants of Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s Fifth Avenue Mansion can still be found throughout Manhattan.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II purchased and demolished 3 brownstone houses on the southwest corner of Street and Avenue in preparation for his new mansion. His wife was instrumental in the extravagance–it was “common belief that Alice Vanderbilt set o

In 1899 Cornelius died and his wife Alice Gwynne received a $7 million trust fund, the New York City Mansion and the Breakers cottage in Newport. For years alice resided gloomily in her two homes. wearing nothing but black and pearls To run the 137 room Mansion in New York City took 37 servants, In 1925 Alice sold the home for $7 million dollars to Bergdorf-Goodman which demolished it and built a department store which still occupies the spot today.

The Heckscher Building (the Crown building) looms over the massive Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion.

Grand Salon, Cornelius Vanderbilt II house, 1894, at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Salon designed by Jules Allard et Fils.

Inside the Six-Story Gothic Manse That Was NYC's Largest

Grand Salon, Cornelius Vanderbilt II house, 1900 at Fifth Avenue and Street. Salon designed by Jules Allard et Fils.

Cornelius Vanderbilt (May 27, 1794 – January 4, 1877), also known by the sobriquet Commodore, was an American industrialist and philanthropist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. He provided the initial gift to found Vanderbilt University, which is named in his honor.

Cornelius Vanderbilt (May 1794 – January also known by the sobriquet was an American industrialist and philanthropist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads.

Gateway to The Breakers, the Gilded Age summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II - Photo by wallg on flickr

My favourite summer home in all of Newport, RI! Gateway to The Breakers, the Gilded Age summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II

Cornelius Vanderbilt built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. In today's dollars, his net worth would be $178 billion. His descendants include Gloria Vanderbilt ($200 million) and Anderson Cooper ($100 million).

Lessons From Vanderbilt And Rockefeller: Know Your 'One Big Thing'

Find out more about the history of Cornelius Vanderbilt, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Get all the facts on HISTORY.com

Find out more about the history of Cornelius Vanderbilt, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Get all the facts on HISTORY.com

Mrs Cornelius Vanderbilt III (Grace Wilson) and her children Cornelius Vanderbilt IV and Grace Vanderbilt. She was the wife of Consuelo Vanderbilt's first cousin.  Their daughter Grace was at one time rumored to be engaged to Consuelo's son Lord Ivor Spencer-Churchill.

Cornelius Vanderbilt III [Grace Wilson] with her children Cornelius IV and Grace. Her husband General C. Vanderbilt III, son of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, was Consuelo Vanderbilt's first cousin.

This magnificent home was demolished in 1927 and today the site is occupied by the Bergdorf Goodman department store. The only remnant of the mansion are its magnificent gates, which today provide the entrance to Central Park's Conservatory Gardens at 104th and Fifth.

Looking back at Manhattan's lost Gilded Age mansions

Cornelius Vanderbilt II mansion (demolished) formerly at 1 West St, New York City. Architects George B Post and Richard Morris Hunt. Built 1882 with substantial 1894 addition. Demolished Vintage b&w photo.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II Residence | New York, NY. On the south end of Grand Army Plaza, the Vanderbilt Mansion (center), largest urban residence in America is dwarfed by The Plaza Hotel which has yet to undergo the addition by Warren and Wetmore.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II Residence, New York, NY. On the south end of Grand Army Plaza, the Vanderbilt Mansion (center), largest urban residence in America is dwarfed by The Plaza Hotel which has yet to undergo the addition by Warren and Wetmore.

The Cornelius Vanderbilt Mansion at 1 W57th St. built 1882 and demolished in 1927. Now the site of Bergdorf Goodman.

Trevelyan Vean was inspired by other mansions of the Gilded Age including The Cornelius Vanderbilt II Mansion.

Consuelo Vanderbilt's first cousins and the sons of her Uncle Cornelius Vanderbilt II: Cornelius Vanderbilt III, Reginald C. Vanderbilt, William Henry Vanderbilt II and Alfred G. Vanderbilt.

Consuelo Vanderbilt's first cousins and the sons of her Uncle Cornelius Vanderbilt II: Cornelius Vanderbilt III, Reginald C. Vanderbilt, William Henry Vanderbilt II and Alfred G. Vanderbilt who had Great Camp Sagamore

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