UES042-02.jpg (79180 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Upper East Side

Union Club

Top Ten New York Clubs


Delano & Aldrich


101 East 69th At Park Ave.






clad entirely in limestone





Some commentary by various authors;

Andrew S. Dolkart, "Touring the Upper East Side, Walks in Five Historic Districts" (The New York Landmarks Conservancy, 1995), 
"the dull, somewhat overblown exterior is designed in an English Renaissance manner that alludes to the gentlemen's clubs of London, but lacks the finesse of the clubs on Pall Mall." Such an assessment may be right about finesse, but is a bit harsh as Delano & Aldrich's design is very elegant and very refined.

Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins,, "New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two World Wars" (Rizzoli International, 1987), 
"...[it] was one of the last great monuments of the American Renaissance and the last in a chain of imposing, Classicly inspired clubhouses that extended back to McKim, Mead & White's Century Club of 1891. Regreattably, the new Union Club replaced a minor masterpiece of the pre-war era, McKim, Mead & White's Geraldyn Redmond house. With bittersweet mockery Standford White's son, the architect Lawrence Grant White, reputedly wrote to Delano & Aldrich requesting that the following inscription be placed above the front door: 'Conceived by the Genius of McKim, Mead & White. Destroyed by the Fury of Delano & Aldrich.' The quiet limestone Georgian design clothed a complexly organized, elegantly proportioned set of Classical rooms that enabled members to enjoy all of the comforts of twentieth-century life, including ticker-tape reports of stock-market transactions, pneumatic-tube service from Wall Street, as well as year-round air-conditioning and humidification. William Delano's plan was based in part on his design for the Willard Straight house of 1913, and his Kinickerbocker Club of the same year. Brilliantly focused on a double-height central entrance rotuda, its cross-axial hallways were raised a level above the street and reached by a gracious staircase. The second floor, an entresol, contained private dining rooms, while the third, returing to the grand scale of the first, contained the principal dining room as well as the library. Bedrooms were located on the fourth floor, their comparatively small windows alternating with elaborately carved panels to form a frieze below the cornice, while squash courts and locker rooms were housed in a high masard roof. The bold simplicity of the exterior contrasted with the intricacy of the interior spaces; vaulted ceilings ranged form the deeply coffered dome over the entrance rotounda to the shallow coffered vault of the north louge. Ceiling rosettes concealed the air-conditioning grilles in the main lounge and writing room. Elaborate cyrstal chandeliers from the previous clubhouse were usedin the card room, while simple pendant globes of a distinctly Modern Scandinavian character were the principal ornament of the English oak library. The dressing room lounge on the sports floor was treated as a tented room furnished with rattan."


Your website implies that JP Morgan built the Metropolitan Club because 
he wasn't admitted to the Union Club.

Not true. He was a member of both clubs. (Source: p. 534 in "J. 
Pierpont Morgan: An Intimate Portrait" by Herbert L. Satterlee, 
MacMillan Company, NY, 1939.)

Hope that helps.

Douglas Kim