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The Social Register: "Where 'Best Society' Lives and Plays, Part II"


The Summer Social Register July 3, 1903 (1)

The Summer Social Register, which contains the country, yachting, and foreign addresses of prominent families of New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Buffalo, has just been issued. There are 7,518 families represented, of which 3,242 are inland, 2,664 at the seashore, 159 on their yachts for the Summer, and 757 are spending the Summer abroad. Three hundred and twenty-nine families are on the Jersey coast, 760 on Long Island, 329 on the north shore of the Sound, 343 at Newport, 39 at Narraganset Pier, 864 on the New England coast, 72 are at Lenox, 103 at camps in the Adirondacks, 102 in Canada, and 2,965 at other inland resorts.

Society Moving to Country, Figures Say: Private Residences in Manhattan to be Rare in 1922. Jan 1, 1905 (2)

That private residences for society people in New York will be a rare luxury in the year 1922 is the view of the compilers of The Social Register for 1903, which has just appeared. The estimate is based upon comparison of this issue with that of 1888. This comparison also leads to a deduction that society is gradually abandoning private residences in Manhattan more for country homes than for apartment houses and hotels.

Of the families in The Social Register of 1888 about eighty-two per cent. lived practically under their own roofs; now only fifty-nine per cent. do so, among the prominent families of New York alone. Contrary to the general opinion., this population has not been even largely absorbed by apartment or hotel life but the bulk has taken up with country life and is to be found in the suburban towns on Long Island, in Westchester County, New Jersey, Tuxedo and some of the winter resorts, such as Aiken, and one-quarter of it now lives permanently abroad with but an occasional visit to the United States.

In 1888 the largest number of families residing under one roof was eleven, now there are as many as twenty-seven in one hotel.

Of the 9,000 families in The Social Register 4,556 families reside 1 in a dwelling, being 51 per cent. Of the total, and 712 live 2 in a dwelling being 8 per cent. of the total. Families residing 2 in a house mostly belong to the same family, and they are for the purpose of this comparison classed with the private residences, leaving a total of 1,074 residing in apartment houses or hotels. They are 12 per cent. of the total. Of the families who live in the suburbs there are 2,124, or 23 per cent. Living abroad are 537 families. In 1888, according to the compilers' figures, 1,482 persons, or 6 per cent. of the total, lived 1 to a house and 274 lived 2 to a house. The suburbs then claimed 10 1/2 per cent. of the total. In the change that has taken place the suburbs have got 12 per cent. and the apartments 6 per cent.

In 1888 the three apartment houses, containing five families each were 80 Madison Avenue 121 Madison Avenue, and 20 Fifth Avenue. That with nine families was the old Hanover, 2 East Fifteenth Street. That with eleven in a house was 247 Fifth Avenue, the Knickerbocker apartment house.

Among the "congested" dwellings in 1905 are mentioned 47 West Forty-third Street and 56 West Thirty-third Street, each with thirteen in a house; 37 Madison Avenue, now an apartment house, where there are sixteen families; Hotel Plaza and the Renaissance, each of which has seventeen families, and the Park Avenue Hotel and 12 West Forty-fourth Street, each of which has nineteen families; 247 Fifth Avenue, which now has twenty families; 2 East Forty-fifth Street, which has twenty-one families; 44 West Forty-fourth Street, which has twenty-two families: Hotel Buckingham, which has twenty-six families, and the Waldorf, which has twenty-seven families.

Social Centre Moves North: Following the Trend of Eighty Years. December 24, 1905 (3)

The social centre of New York City, which for the past eighty years, seems to have moved up town one block, or 200 feet each year, has jumped in the last three years from Fifty-second Street in 1902 to a point midway in the block between Fifty-seventh and Fifty-eighth Streets, just west of Fifth Avenue, or at an accelerated pace of nearly 300 feet per annum.

For the last eighteen years the Social Register Association has ascertained this centre by the use of a balanced pole, notched at regular intervals to represent the streets from Fifth Street to 157th Street, with a weight attached for each family residing in that particular street.

There have been 1,980 changes of residence among the families recorded in The Social Register this year, the greatest number having taken place in the two streets immediately flanking the social centre. Fifty-seventh and Fifty-eighth Streets, where fifty-six families have moved in and forty-six families have moved out.

During the year there have been 617 marriages as compared with 627 last year, a difference of only 10. The deaths this year were 177 women and 260 men as compared with 186 women and 252 men last year, a difference of only one in the totals.

In 1905 1,487 families went abroad and 1,190 have returned an increase of nearly 60 per cent. as compared with last year's foreign travel.

The Social Register, just out, indicates that 290 New York families are residing this year across the Hudson, at Tuxedo, Morristown, Short Hills, Orange, and other suburban towns. Two hundred are in Westchester County and along the Hudson to Albany, 107 on Long Island, 95 on the Connecticut shore of the Sound, and 33 at Staten Island. Two Hundred and seventy-nine families are residing abroad, of which 81 are at Paris, 60 at London, and 12 at Rome. Forty-six are in the South, 36 are wintering in Washington, and 16 at Newport.


Website: The History
Article Name: The Social Register: "Where 'Best Society' Lives and Plays, Part II"
Researcher/Preparer/Transcriber Miriam Medina


 #'s 1-3  New York Times
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