The Harvard Club of New York City was founded in 1865 by a small group of alumni interested in continuing the fellowship of Cambridge. Within a year, there were 98 members who met at Delmonico’s restaurant and other rented quarters.
By the early 1890s, with 600 members, a permanent home was needed. Two lots were purchased on West 44th Street, then a block of stables, in an area which was quickly becoming a center for other clubhouses. The Club chose celebrated architect Charles F. McKim, of the renowned firm McKim, Mead & White, for the project. The design, a gift from McKim, a Club member, was Georgian style of architecture with Harvard brick and Indiana limestone. The Club’s façade, reminiscent of his popular gates at Harvard, is considered one of McKim’s masterpieces.
Over the years, the Club realized substantial additions and renovations. In 1905, Harvard Hall, the Grill Room, a new library, a billiard room and two floors of guestrooms brought more offerings to its members. In 1915, the Main Dining Room, a bar, additional guestrooms, banquet rooms and athletic facilities including a 7th floor swimming pool were added, also by McKim, Mead & White, nearly doubling the Club’s size. And in 2003, the latest addition of contemporary glass and limestone opened. Designed by Davis Brody Bond under the direction of Max Bond (Harvard Class of 1955, Masters of Architecture 1958), the new building added 40,000-square-feet to the Clubhouse.
Our building on West 44th Street
With its architectural beauty and long history, the Harvard Club was one of the first buildings to be named a New York City Landmark. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Members and alumni have good reason to be justifiably proud of this remarkable building. To learn the story of how it came to be, click here