Garner Mansion


DATE: 1859-1960

STYLE: Second Empire

LPC Action: Calendared 1966; Public Hearings 1966, 2010; Removed from the calendar 2015

This Second Empire style, brownstone  mansion has had a number of uses in its lifetime. One of the few freestanding pre-Civil War era mansions surviving in the city, it was built by Charles Taber, a prominent cotton broker and real estate developer, in 1859-60 and was purchased a decade later William T. Garner, owner of one of the largest textile mills in the nation. Legend has it that the Garner Mansion almost became the summer home of Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia. Although the president liked the house, when Mrs. Grant visited the grounds were swarming with mosquitoes and she refused to live there. In the 1880s it housed St. Austin’s Episcopal School for Boys and later St. Austin’s Military Academy. In 1903 St. Vincent’s Hospital’s opened its first location on Staten Island in the building and soon after added a two-story Colonial Revival style wing to serve as a nurses training school. The W. T. Garner House is now part of Richmond University Medical Center.

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