Called “one of the grandest houses to survive in Manhattan” by the New York Times’s Christoper Gray, the old George F. Baker Jr. residence at the northwest corner of 93rd Street and Park Avenue is now home to the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Its history is detailed in a 22 October 1989 article in Gray’s Streetscapes series published in the New York Times, “The Baker Mansion on Park at 93d; Under the Servants' Quarters, a Railroad Siding?”
The original part-Federal part-Georgian structure was built mostly in 1917 by Francis F. Palmer, who had made his fortune financing British war loans during World War I. The architects were Delano & Aldrich. The original structure included the walled-in garden with a fountain in the center.
Ten years later, George F. Baker, Jr. acquired the house and retained the original architects to expand the house to include a ballroom and separate garage around the garden, and a guest house along 93rd Street. Baker died in 1937 and his wife sold off the building to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The Church made additional modifications, cutting a vehicular entrance into the courtyard, converting the ballroom into a cathedral and adding a staircase from the courtyard to the new church. Otherwise, little has changed since the Bakers lived there.
(Photos: New York Architecture Images)