Emily's Top 9 Matches
About Emily Vanderbilt Hammond (Sloane)
about their home in NYC where John H Hammond and his sisters were raised: On April 6, 1899 The New York Times listed the wedding gifts received by Mr. and Mrs. John Henry Hammond, including “a necklace and tiara of diamonds from her parents.” The newspaper failed to mention their other gift of a limestone mansion on 91st Street.
The bride was the former Emily Vanderbilt Sloane and when her father, William D. Sloane of W. & J. Sloane, approved her engagement to Hammond he announced he would present the couple with a new home. John Hammond's male ego was bruised at the thought. “I will not be a kept man,” he bristled.
He apparently was not sufficiently indignant to refuse the gift, however.
Sloane purchased the lot of land at No. 9 East 91st Street from Andrew Carnegie and architects Carrere & Hastings were given the commission to design the house. Completed in 1903, it was a grand Renaissance-style mansion which Emily Sloane filled with Louis XVI-style furniture manufactured by her father’s company. Modeled closely upon 16th and 18th Century Italian palazzo designs, it offered the family a private courtyard with fountain as an elegant respite from summer heat.
Inside were elaborate marble mantles and stairways, crystal chandeliers, tapestries, Oriental rugs and paneled walls with gilded moldings. The large windows onto 91st Street were hung with heavy damask curtains.
The house had two elevators and on the second floor a suite of grand public rooms often entertained 300 guests at Mrs. Hammond’s frequent musicales. Here were an Elizabethan-style library with 18-foot high walls and a Louis XVI 50-foot by 28-foot ballroom. As the Hammonds five children grew, the regulation-size squash court on the fifth floor was used less for squash than for roller skating.
Sixteen servants took care of the Hammonds' needs. The kitchens were in the basement, far below the elegant dining room; presenting a problem for the servants attempting to deliver warm food to the table. John Hammond’s daughter, Adele, reminisced decades later “Father said he’d never had a hot meal.”
The Hammonds lived in their limestone palazzo for forty-four years, where no alcohol or tobacco was ever consumed. Many years later Rachel Hammond Breck remembered “Mother’s parties were never too much fun and never lasted too long because no liquor was served.”
Demon tobacco was high on her list of evils, as well. On January 19, 1922 at a luncheon for Castle School alumnae in the Waldorf-Astoria, Emily Hammond warned “If American women are to be leaders of the world, they must keep themselves without taint, and that includes the smoking of cigarettes.”
Mrs. Hammond’s taste in “correct” music was tortured when John, the youngest of the Hammond children, took an early shine to jazz music. When he announced that he had invited Benny Goodman to the house to play, Emily Hammond consented so long as the musician limit his selections to Mozart.
Eventually, Goodman not only played jazz at 9 East 91st Street, but he married one of the Hammond daughters, Alice.
In 1946 the Hammonds sold their home to Dr. Ramon Castroviejo, an ophthalmologist who used it not only as his residence but as a private clinic as well, making slight alterations to the interior. He remained in the mansion for 31 years before selling it to the Soviet Union in 1975 for $1.6 million, one year after the US and the USSR agreed to establish consulates.