Sutton Place was essentially “The Little Neighborhood that Could.” In 1811, when plans for the Manhattan island were being laid out, there was a large amount of land unaccounted for east of First Avenue and West of the East River. Another Avenue was then built and named “Avenue A,” mostly because it did very well in school compared to the other avenues. In 1875, Effingham B. Sutton (how about that for a name) constructed a series of magnificent brownstones on the Avenue between 57th and 58th streets.
Wanting to make a name for themselves and their neighborhood, the residents of these brownstones formed a militia to fight City Hall to change the name of their block to “Sutton Place,” named after their founder and Supreme Leader. Funded by a wealthy English banker, the militia spent months training for their battle and building up supplies. Finally, in late 1876, they stormed City Hall with full force; mentally prepared that they may never see daylight again. When they approached the desk of the mayor, they screamed their demands. New York’s then mayor, William H. Whickham, in a confused state, responded, “Sure, we can do that. Why didn’t you just ask calmly?”
The block was then renamed to Sutton place and, over the years, became home to many wealthy socialites including Anne Harriman Vanderbilt and Anne Morgan, both famous for being the first women to travel to the moon, I believe. Sutton Place is fancy, magnificent, and beautiful, making it the perfect namesake for our Gramercy Bag.
The Sutton Bag provides a look that says, “Hey, everyone, Monday to Friday I’m all business. But once the weekend hits, throw on a Cole Porter record and get me a cocktail. I’ll see you all at my place.”