The residence of Mr Peter Pett, the well-known financier, on Riverside Drive, in New York City, is one of the leading eyesores of that breezy and expensive boulevard. As you pass by in your limousine, or while enjoying ten cents worth of fresh air on top of a green omnibus, it jumps out and bites at you. Architects confronted with it reel and throw up their hands defensively, and even the lay observer has a sense of shock. The place resembles in almost equal proportions a cathedral, a suburban villa, a hotel and a Chinese pagoda. Many of its windows are of stained glass, and above the porch stand two terra-cotta lions, considerably more repulsive even than the complacent animals that guard New York's Public Library. It is a house impossible to overlook; and it was probably for this reason that Mrs Pett insisted on her husband's buying it, for she was a woman who liked to be noticed.
---from Piccadilly Jim by P.G. Wodehouse