The Harvard Club of New York City
|Location||27 W 44th St, Manhattan, New York City, New York|
|Built||1894, enlarged in 1905, 1915 and 1989|
|Architect||Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead & White|
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival, neo-Georgian style|
|NRHP reference #||80002693|
|Added to NRHP||March 28, 1980|
|Designated NYCL||January 11, 1967|
Incorporated in 1887, it is housed in adjoining lots at 27 West 44th Street and 35 West 44th Street. The original wing, built in 1894, was designed in red brick neo-Georgian style by Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead & White.
Founded without a location in 1865, by a group of Harvard University alumni, the club first rented a townhouse on 22nd Street. In 1888, the members acquired land on 44th Street. The clubhouse was established in the neighborhood where many of New York City's other clubs, such as the New York Yacht Club, were located, and across the street from the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York.
The club selected architect Charles Follen McKim, of McKim, Mead & White, for the project. The design was Georgian style of architecture with Harvard brick and Indiana limestone. The building's 1894 façade is reminiscent of McKim, Mead and White's 1901 gates at Harvard Yard. In 1905, Harvard Hall, the Grill Room, a new library, a billiard room, and two floors of guest rooms were added.
In 1915, McKim, Mead & White doubled the building's size by constructing the Main Dining Room, a bar, additional guestrooms, banquet rooms, and athletic facilities including a 7th floor swimming pool. In 2003, a new 40,000-square-feet contemporary glass and limestone building was added by Davis Brody Bond, under the direction of J. Max Bond, Jr.
In 1968, just before walking down the aisle to marry Marc Fasteau, her Harvard Law classmate, Brenda Feigen saw a "NO LADIES ALLOWED" sign on the club's library wall. Feigen and her husband later appealed to the club to allow women among its members, but the board voted to reject the proposal. The newlyweds soon after launched a class action lawsuit against the club for discriminating on the basis of sex. After five years of legal work, in the last conference before the trial was set to begin, a federal judge ordered the club to take one final vote. The next day, on January 11, 1973, the club voted 2,097 to 695 to admit female members. Publicly, the club's outgoing president, Albert H. Gordon, maintained that the vote was unconnected with the discrimination suit filed earlier in the year. Nevertheless, the decision marked a win for Feigen, who would come back together with her fellow plaintiffs in 2008 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the success.
The building is sometimes used for outside corporate events such as business conferences.
To be eligible for election to membership, a candidate must hold a degree or honorary degree from Harvard, be a tenured faculty member at the University, or serve as an officer, or member of any Board or Committee of the University. Dues levied are on a sliding scale, based on age and proximity to the Club. Like most private clubs, members of the Harvard Club are given reciprocal benefits at clubs around the United States and the world.
The HCNY Foundation has a scholarship fund that helps support 20 undergraduates at Harvard College and several students in graduate programs, as well as international student exchange programs.
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