The original Fifth Avenue Hotel building, at 200 Fifth Avenue, was constructed
on the site of what had been the Fifth Avenue Hotel, which was completed in 1859
and was demolished in 1908. The 16-story building was completed in 1909 and was
originally known as the Fifth Avenue Building, which name is on the landmark clock
outside the front entrance, and the interlocked initials "F.A.B." were still in the
building's elevators in 2003. The architect was Robert Maynicke. Its ornate cast-iron
sidewalk clock built by Hecla Iron Works in 1909 was designated a landmark by the
Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1981.
Edith Wharton, the first Female Pulitzer Prize Winner, was born in on this block.
When Edith Wharton was growing up in Manhattan's Flatiron District, her passion for
writing would lead to a path of art imitating life. The aspiring novelist from New
York's upper class, who began her craft as a teen, often used her background as a
backdrop for many of her 38 books, including 1921 Pulitzer Prize winner "The Age of
Innocence." Wharton's award as the first woman recipient of the Pulitzer Prize remains
a source of inspiration now, and every March, during the annual celebration of Women's
This newest version of the Fifth Avenue Hotel replaced the original Fifth Avenue Hotel
(1858-1908), once the most exclusive hotel in NYC. Cornelius Vanderbilt and his cronies
would trade stocks here after hours. Setting of Gore Vidal's 1876.