2. The Montauk Club
On the corner of Eighth Avenue and Lincoln Place in Park Slope, just off Grand Army Plaza, is the Montauk Club, a Venetian Gothic palazzo-inspired private club built in 1891. The interiors, though only open to the public on rare occasions, are often seen in film and on television in shows like Billions, Boardwalk Empire and The Knick. Some of the notable people who have stepped through these doors include four United States Presidents – John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley – who gave speeches.
The Montauk Club was founded in 1888, in the tradition of private clubs at the height of the Gilded Age. It was designed by Frances H. Kimball, a notable architect whose famous buildings still stand in New York City today – including the Trinity and U.S. Realty Buildings on Broadway, the Corbin Building next to Fulton Center, and the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The exterior design of the Montauk Club was inspired by the Ca d’Oro, also known as the Palazzo Santa Sofia, on the Grand Canal in Venice.
But look closely and you will see references to the Montauk Indians on much of the building’s exterior: terra cotta faces peer out from atop columns and above the main entrance, while a wraparound frieze between the third and fourth floors features scenes related to the Indian tribe. The cast iron fence that wraps around the building also shows Indian faces. In 2004, Chief Robert Pharoah, representing the tribe, was a guest at the 115th Anniversary Celebration of the club.
On a visit inside, don’t miss the balcony off the dining room which has more Indian faces and a lovely view of Prospect Park.
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