Untapped Cities invites you on an exclusive insider tour of the Players Club on Gramercy Park. This members only social club was founded in 1889 by Edwin Booth, one the most renowned American actors of the 19th century, along with fifteen friends and colleagues including Mark Twain and General William T. Sherman. Today’s notable members include Jimmy Fallon, Ethan Hawke and Tommy Lee Jones, whose portraits hang in the club’s grand staircase.
Edwin Booth commissioned his friend, famed architect Stanford White, to redesign the façade and interiors of the Gothic-Revival mansion at 16 Gramercy Park South. This lovely building stands today, an historic and atmospheric private social club that has been home to several generations of actors, artists, writers and arts aficionados far and wide. Edwin Booth, brother of the infamous John Wilkes who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, lived in an apartment on the third floor that remains virtually unaltered since he died on June 7th, 1893, which you will get to visit during this tour.
The Edwin Booth Room
The Edwin Booth Room
On this 60-minute tour, led by a Players Club docent, you will learn about the history of the Club and its members, visit the room in which actors met secretly in 1913 to form the Actors Equity Association, walk inside Edwin Booth’s bedroom in which rests the skull donated by a fan used in his famous 100 consecutive performances of Hamlet, and get a close look at Mark Twain’s poker table.
The tour will also include a visit to the Hampden-Booth Theatre Library, which contains a vital collection of books, plays, theatre magazines and other artifacts of 19th and early 20th century American and British theatre history. On a small table is the letter to the American people from Edwin apologizing for his brother’s actions. Throughout the clubhouse are impressive art collections, portraits by Everett Raymond Kinstler, Edwin’s theater costumes, and more, a stage, and a bar/grill room where Mark Twain’s pool cue hangs above his portrait.
Mark Twain’s pool cue
We look forward to seeing you on this behind-the-scenes tour of one of New York City’s most private landmarks. Tickets available on dates from May to July: