The houses of Sutton Place represent the first
milestone in Mott Schmidt's career. In 1920 he was retained by Elizabeth
Marbury, the literary and theatrical agent, to remodel a 19th
century rowhouse at No. 13. Named for Effingham B. Sutton, who tried to develop
the block in 1875, the riverside houses had little of the elegance then that we
associate with the name today. Marbury persuaded several of her influential
friends - notably Anne Vanderbilt and Anne Morgan-to buy other parcels on the
block, thereby establishing a "society" enclave on the river's edge,
away from Fifth Avenue. Once Schmidt's work was exhibited at the Architectural
League (in 1921) and published, his career was launched.
The neighborhood is still known as a celebrity block, with the Secretary General of the United Nations residing in No. 3 (the former Morgan house), and the architect I. M. Pei in No. 11.