About Harriet Sylvia Ann Howland Wilks (Green)
She was born in 1871 to Henrietta Howland Robinson and Edward Henry Green. Throughout her life she was generally known as Sylvia rather than by her given first name. She married Matthew Astor Wilks (1844–1926), great grandson of America's first millionaire John Jacob Astor, in Morristown, New Jersey February 23, 1909; she was 32 and he was 63.When her brother died in 1935, she inherited his estate, rather than the estate going to his widow.
Henrietta Green Wilks died on February 5, 1951 leaving an estate of $94,965,229 ($443 million in 2007 dollars). The list of assets included 36 pages of bonds, eight pages of blue-chip stocks, and $31 million in a non interest bearing checking account.
Her will was found stuffed in a tin cabinet with four cakes of soap. She bestowed just $5,000 on her closest genetic relative, a cousin, but the court awarded her $140,000 during probate. The remainder was divided between 63 charities and educational institutions.
Fifth Avenue, "Millionaire's Row." At the forefront on the right you can see the twelve-story apartment building that sits at 998 Fifth Avenue and 81st Street. It was designed for James T. Lee (grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White in 1912. The limestone, Italian Renaissance style structure housed wealthy residents that included Murray Guggenheim and Sylvia Green Wilks, the wife of Matthew Astor Wilks and daughter of tycoon Hetty Green, aka “the Witch of Wall Street.”
from Streetscapes/998 Fifth Avenue, at 81st Street, Designed by McKim, Mead & White; A Majestic 1912 Apartment Tower for the Very Rich By CHRISTOPHER GRAY Published: March 30, 2003. The New York Times.
"THE imposing limestone apartment house at 998 Fifth Avenue, at 81st Street, is one of the most majestic ever built in New York, or even in the United States. Completed in 1912 and designed by McKim, Mead & White for the developer James T. Lee, grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the building counted among its most interesting attributes a broad iron and glass marquee over the 81st Street entrance. Although the marquee has long been blacked out with roofing tar, the owners of the building, now a co-op, are about to bring back the sunny side of the street.
In 1909, Lee and Charles R. Fleischmann bought the northeast corner of 81st and Fifth from the financier August Belmont, who had contemplated building his own mansion there. Lee hired the firm of McKim, Mead & White, which designed many of New York's grandest buildings, ranging from the Metropolitan Club at 60th and Fifth to the old Penn Station.
Residential Fifth Avenue had seen a few apartment buildings by 1910, but nothing like the 12-story 998 Fifth Avenue. McKim, Mead & White developed an all-limestone exterior in the Italian Renaissance style -- the exterior, for its time, looked more like a bank or a private club. Lee had the vision to combine the sensible efficiencies of a multiple dwelling with the scale of a country house, using an architectural language understood by families with housing budgets measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Harriet Wilks's Timeline
January 7, 1871
London, Greater London , England, United Kingdom
February 5, 1951
New York, New York, New York, United States
Bellows Falls, Wndham, Vermont, United States