With fashionable townhouses that are home to high society, the Upper East Side was once known as the Silk Stocking District, and remains one of the city’s most affluent areas. Home to the Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Frick and the Lenox families, to name a few; during the Gilded Age, these famous, powerful and wealthy families helped create the area as we know it today. The Frick Collection, a collection of old master paintings and fine furnishings, resides in the former Henry Clay Frick House.
The area and its denizens in the late 1800s were described in detail in the novels of Edith Wharton.
In 1868, the German Hospital, which would later become Lenox Hill Hospital was opened in on 77th Street. In the early 1900s, the hospital was the first in the country to open a physical therapy department and the first hospital in New York to open a tuberculosis division. Over the years, they’ve been a leading innovator in medicine. Also in the area is the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the leading research and treatment institutes in the country.