9. Huron Club – Tammany Hall’s Social Club
Tammany Hall’s social club, Huron Club, is tucked away among a series of row-houses along Vandam Street in the now historic King Charlton Vandam district. Previously a residential home, the building was taken over by Tammany Hall in the late 1880’s for use as a discrete gathering place – away from the prying eyes of the public and enemies, and away from their main headquarters in Union Square.
Huron Club quickly garnered a notorious reputation thanks, in part, to its surreptitious downstairs bar, which later became a speakeasy. Over the years, it has served many eminent politicians, including Mayer ‘Beau James’ Walker, during the prohibition era; a meeting hall, where voting took place, was also located on the main floor; and the higher floor was used as a brothel. As a result, the Huron Club was referred to by politicians as a place for “one-stop shopping.”
As a cover for the speakeasy downstairs, Huron Club was later converted into a theatre house. Currently, the building houses the Soho Playhouse, one of the first, original off-Broadway theatres. Intriguingly the name “Huron Club” still overlooks the building entrances. Moreover, the speakeasy, with its illustrious history, is still in operation below the theatre hall!