Untapped Cities invites you on an exclusive special access tour of the Players Club on Gramercy Park, led by a Players Club docent. 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.
- 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, and walk inside Edwin Booth’s bedroom, where you can find the skull that was used in his famous 100 consecutive performances of Hamlet
- Visit 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
- View the Players Club’s impressive art collections, including portraits by Everett Raymond Kinstler, Edwin’s theater costumes, and more
- Get a close look at Mark Twain’s poker table.
What to wear: Bring comfortable shoes
What to know: The tour is 1 hour long. Some rooms of the Players Club may not be accessible if they are booked out for private events on the day of the tour. The Players Club enforces a dress code; please no shorts or flip-flops.
WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY ABOUT THIS TOUR:
“I enjoyed the tour very much. The docent was entertaining as well as informative. An opportunity to be “inside” a private, members only club, especially one with not only a rich history but also continuing as well as expanding it’s functionality, is a treat.” — lunadecasa, Trip Advisor
“Fabulous insider’s view of the Players Club. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the historic Players Club in Gramercy Park! Our docent, Carol, was fabulous – knowledgable, welcoming, and with a deep pride in the club she obviously loves. Between the original portraits, the fabulous Stanford White architecture, the location and the history, we were throughly beguiled. Getting to see Edwin Booth’s room was a treat, and the theater costumes and props were amazing! Carole even showed us the various death masks of famous actors that are part of the club’s incredible theater collection.” — Poetryqn, Trip Advisor
“Fascinating look into the Players Club. I pass by the building often and have always wondered what it was like inside. Rory, our tour guide, was excellent – he was very engaging and seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the history of the property. We actually had the opportunity to see more than I expected (we even went into Edwin Booth’s room, which has literally been preserved in time).” — Qi X, Trip Advisor
“I’ve long wanted to go inside the Players Club, but times/days it was offered never fit my work schedule. When I saw a tour offered in the evening, I immediately purchased tickets for my husband and myself. It was everything I’d hoped for and more! Gracious hosts and tour guide, fascinating stories, beautiful artwork and exquisite design. The highlight was to stand in the room where Edwin Booth breathed his last, a room untouched since that moment except by the hands of Time. Thank you so very much, Untapped Cities!” Sara Grush, Trip Advisor
Here are more photos of places you will see on this tour:
The Edwin Booth Room
The Edwin Booth Room
Mark Twain’s pool cue