Concourse Plaza Hotel and Union League Club receive individual Landmarks status.
NEW YORK CITY LANDMARKS PRESERVATION
Robert B. Tierney
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011
GRAND CONCOURSE HISTORIC DISTRICT
AND FOUR INDIVIDUAL LANDMARKS PROTECTED
Another noteworthy building from the earlier stage of the district’s development is the Concourse Plaza Hotel at 900 Grand Concourse between East 161st and 162nd streets. Built in 1923, the same year as nearby Yankee Stadium, the 11-story Colonial Revival style hotel drew such distinguished guests and visitors as Yankees greats Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle and presidential candidates Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy.
“The buildings in the district were so solidly built that they emerged from a period of neglect largely unscathed, and still retain many of the fine architectural details that first attracted residents to the Grand Concourse in the 1920s and 1930s,” said Chairman Tierney. “This is a great day for the Bronx.”
Union League Club, 38 East 37th Street at Park Avenue
The nine-story, brick-faced clubhouse, located at the southwest corner of 37th Street and Park Avenue, was completed in 1931 and combines elements of the 18th century Federal and Georgian styles of architecture. It was designed by (Benjamin Wistar) Morris & (Robert Barnard) O’Connor. Prior to establishing the firm, Morris received a number of significant commissions, including the annex to the Morgan Library, the Cunard Building and the Bank of New York & Trust Company building at 48 Wall St.
Originally located in a former residence on the north side of Union Square in Manhattan, the Union League Club was founded in 1863 to support the United States and the Republican Party. During the Civil War, the club organized the first black regiment in New York State and its members later played a significant role in establishing the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It also was one of the first social clubs in New York City to welcome women.
The club’s current site was assembled by prominent Murray Hill families who wanted to maintain neighborhood’s residential character, and sold the property with restrictions dictating the size of buildings could be constructed there.
The 37th Street façade of the club incorporates a curved, double height entrance pavilion and oversized Palladian style windows, and a central pediment that frames a cartouche with club’s initials. A lintel decorated with four female faces surmounts the wood doors of a second entrance on Park Avenue. Women gained full membership privileges in 1988, and Democrats were permitted to join in 1937.
“After 80 years, the Union League Club remains a stately gem on a tranquil corner of Murray Hill,” said Chairman Tierney.