Stop 48. The Morgan House

Jack Morgan’s Brownstone


The oldest structure on the Morgan campus is the Morgan House, at the corner of 37th Street and Madison Avenue. Built in 1854, it is a rare example of a freestanding brownstone. Pierpont Morgan lived in a house at the corner of Madison and 36th Street. He was able to purchase the house in the middle of the block and then this brownstone in 1903–1904. He tore the house down in the middle to create space for a shared garden and had the brownstone renovated before giving it to his son Jack, and Jack’s wife, Jane Norton Grew Morgan, and their children. They lived here from 1905 until 1943.

This brownstone may not look impressive from the outside—certainly it doesn’t rival the Fifth Avenue palaces of other wealthy New Yorkers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But with its renovated George III interior, forty-five rooms, twelve bathrooms, and twenty-two fireplaces, it was clearly the home of a wealthy man. In 1936, Jack Morgan hosted a crowd of five hundred in the ground-floor parlors, one of which is now part of the Morgan Shop.

After Jack’s death in 1943, the building was purchased by the Lutheran Church. The Morgan acquired the property from the church in 1988, and originally incorporated it into the museum with a glass courtyard designed by Voorsanger and Mills; the courtyard was later replaced by Renzo Piano’s 2006 expansion, which further integrated the campus. Today, the main floor contains the Morgan Dining Room and the Shop, while the rest of the rooms serve as offices for much of the Morgan’s staff.