17. The Metropolitan Club, 1 East 60th St.
Stanford White described the Metropolitan Club building for the New York Times as “unrivaled in its size” with “an appearance unlike that of any building in New York.” Located at 1 East 60th Street on the corner of 5th Avenue, the Metropolitan Club was established in 1891 by a group of “distinguished gentlemen, prominent in the civic, commercial, financial, and social life of the City” which included William K. Vanderbilt, William C. Whitney, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the club’s first president J.P. Morgan.
To purchase the land on which the clubhouse stands each of the twenty-five founding members contributed $5,000. The land was at the foot of “Millionaire’s Row,” the fashionable uptown district characterized by the Gilded-Age estates of the wealthy upper class. The Italian Renaissance styled white marble clubhouse, which was designated as a landmark in 1979, cost nearly $2 million to build, which amounts to just over $48 million today. While the exterior design of the building showed restraint in design, the inside boasted extravagance. No expense was spared for the club’s amenities which include a dining hall, a breakfast room, smoking room, a reading room, two card rooms, three large private dining rooms, 22 suites for overnight guests, a bowling alley, wine rooms, a roof garden and even a ladies’ annex. The inside is covered in gilded flourishes, marble, coffered and mural covered ceilings, stain glass windows, and wrought iron railings that run along the fifteen foot wide grand staircase.