In 1837 wealthy merchant Samuel Shaw Howland lived in the elegant mansion at 12 Washington Square North, on the corner of Fifth Avenue. That year James DePeyster Ogden sold him the leasehold on the vacant lot at 25 Washington Square North. The land, as was with case with Howland's house, was the property of the Sailor's Snug Harbor. The leasehold came with the covenant that a dwelling be erected by 1840. It appears he and his son-in-law, George B. Dorr (who was married to Joanna Howland), cooperated in that project. The upscale residence, completed in 1839, was taxed to Dorr, but both men managed its leasing.
To Let--The house No. 25 Washington square. It is nearly new, replete with every convenience for a large family, and in perfect order. It is one of the most desirable situations in the city. The furniture, which is nearly new and made in the most fashionable style, may be had with the house on reasonable terms, if desired. Can be examined at any time during the day. For further particulars, please apply to S. S. Howland, No. 12 Washington Square, or George B. Dorr, No. 20 Exchange Place.
photographs by the author