8. The Metropolitan Club (Founded 1891)
The Metropolitan Club, located at 1 East 60th Street on the corner of 5th Avenue,was founded in 1891 by J.P. Morgan to challenge the Union Club, which had rejected some of his new money friends. Each member, which included Vanderbilts and Whitneys, contributed $5,000 to buy the plot of land where the club stands today in its marble-clad grandeur, designed by Stanford White. The building was described in the New York Times in 1892 as “a clubhouse the equal of which does not exist in this country or in any other.” The final price tag for the Metropolitan Club was reported by the Finance and Building Committee to be $1,777,480.20 (valued at just over $48 million adjusting for inflation).
Located uptown when many clubs were still downtown, the Metropolitan Club had all the amenities: dining hall, a breakfast room, smoking room and three large private dining rooms. There were 22 suites for overnight guests, a bowling alley, wine rooms and, most innovative of all, a ladies’ annex. Even a generator to keep proper heat and cooling throughout its many halls and dormitories.