Mansions on Riverside Drive
The top picture shows the Schinasi Mansion at Riverside and 108th St; the bottom one is of several mansions at 106th St. The Schinasi mansion was built in 1909 by Morris Schinasi, an immigrant from Turkey who made his fortune introducing Turkish tobacco to the United States. Its architect is William Tuthill, who also designed Carnegie Hall. For a brief period starting in the 1880's, it was expected that Riverside Drive would rival Fifth Avenue as a location for the homes of the very rich, though this fashion didn't last. It is built in a French Renaissance style out of Vermont Marble. Its lavish interior, which includes a dome lacquered in gold, rejects the vulgar eclecticism of most "robber barron" mansions of its period, and is consistently Renaissance in style. It currently belongs to Hans Smit, a Columbia Law School professor who owns several other historic houses around the world. In the bottom picture, the low building at extreme right is the New York Buddhist Church.