Railroad Tycoon Dreams
The house in fact was commissioned by Isaac Dudley Fletcher, an equally impressively successful banker/railroad tycoon as Sinclair was an oilman. Though neither was a Vanderbilt or Rockefeller, their wealth and power was quite influential. Fletcher, perhaps not wanting to be seen in Vanderbilt’s shadows, wanted his home to rival William’s, the Commodore’s son, home at 660 Fifth Avenue. Fletcher hired C.P.H Gilbert with the freedom to design as he chose. Gilbert’s results were spectacularly eclectic, far outshining his other Gold Coast mansion at 92nd and Fifth.