Colony Club
The Colony Club was the first social club established in New York City by, and for, women. It was formed in 1903 by Florence Jaffray Harriman, wife of J. Borden Harriman, and was modeled on clubs for prominent men.

Original clubhouse
With other wealthy women, including Anne Tracy Morgan, a daughter of J.P. Morgan, Harriman raised $500,000, and commissioned Stanford White, of McKim, Mead & White to build the original clubhouse, later known as Old Colony Club. This building ”“ at 120 Madison Avenue, between East 30th and East 31st Streets on the West side of Madison ”“ was built between 1904"1908, and was modeled on 18th Century houses in Annapolis, Maryland. The interiors, which still exist, and are landmarked, were created by Elsie de Wolfe, later to become Lady Mendl, a former actress who had recently opened an interior-design business and whose companion, the theatrical agent Elisabeth Marbury, was one of the club's founders. Stanford White was slain by Harry K. Thaw only three blocks away, in the second Madison Square Garden, months before construction was completed. The building was designed to the Federal Revival style, and has unusual brickwork done in a diaper pattern as one of its hallmarks. This building was sold after the club moved to its new location in 1916, and today it is the east coast headquarters of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and was awarded landmark status by the City of New York in 1966.

Second clubhouse
The second clubhouse, located at 564 Park Avenue/51 East 62nd Street on the northwest corner, was completed from 1914-1916 and designed by Delano & Aldrich. Neo-Georgian in style, the building has a marble base with red-brick and marble trim and columns for the upper floors. This is not one of Delano & Aldrich's more elegant works in the Colonial idiom, perhaps because it was nearly impossible to create a well-proportioned design for a building with the complex spatial requirements of this club. The beautifully appointed interior included the lounges, dining rooms, and bedrooms common to social clubs, but also had a two-story ballroom, a basement swimming pool and spa that connected via an express elevator to a gymnasium on the fifth floor, two squash courts, servants' rooms (in 1925 there were thirteen female servants), and even a kennel where members could check their pets.

Building Activity

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    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com