A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 17, 2015
Club Row (West 44th Street)

Manhattan’s West 44th Street has many clubs, such as the Cornell Club (6 East 44th), the Harvard Club (27 West 44th), the Penn Club (30 West 44th), the New York Yacht Club (37 West 44th), the City Bar Association (42 West 44th) and the Yale Club (50 Vanderbilt Avenue, on the corner of 44th Street). The area had been the “stable district” for the wealthy, but it became the “club district” by at least 1898 and “club row” by at least 1908.
4 December 1898, New York (NY) Herald, fifth section, pg. 8, col. 4:
How the “Stable District” Is Rapidly Disappearing—A Study in New York Life.
BEFORE the rapid growth of the new club district the old stable district is fast passing away. Only a few years now and it will have disappeared. But this period of transition presents a unique picture.
It will be hard to find in any other metropolitan city such a juxtaposition of the elegant and the inelegant as is met within this club-stable district of New York. it is like going from the sublime to the ridiculous over and over again.
There are just two blocks in this district—Forty-third and Forty-fourth streets, between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Every one knows the district. The rich know it well, for until the break began all their horses and carriages were stabled there.
21 May 1908, Winston-Salem (NC) Journal, “Stray Topics From Little Old New York,” pg. 7, col. 2:
Fashionable Club Row in West Forty-Fourth street has been invaded by the Waiters’ Club. The slingers of hash, the dispensers of highballs and the recipients of tips have opened a club house in their own right in the midst of such exclusive spots as the New York Yacht Club, the Harvard, Yale, City, Lambs and St. Nicholas Clubs.
Google Books
A Journey Into Dorothy Parker’s New York
By Kevin C. Fitzpatrick
Berkeley, CA: Roaring Forties Press
Pg. 43:
It is on the same street as the historic New York Yacht Club (37 West 44th), the Harvard Club (27 West 44th), the Penn Club (30 West 44th), the Bar Association (42 West 44th), and, on the other side of Fifth Avenue, the Cornell Club (6 East 44th)— hence the street’s nickname of “Club Row.”
The Wall Street Journal
Harvard Tries to Catch Yale in Race of Clubs to the Top
Sept. 26, 2012 10:06 p.m. ET
The Harvard Club, whose original Georgian building was designed by McKim, Mead & White, resides on “Club Row,” a stretch that also includes the New York Yacht Club, the Cornell and Penn Clubs, the nearby Yale Club and the Coffee House, a private club whose sixth rule is that there shall be no rules.
Prior to building their 44th Street clubhouse in 1894, Harvard Club members met downtown in locations such as the Mercantile Library Building, which was on Astor Place. After moving to 44th Street, the club soon extended its space north to 45th Street.
Curbed NY
The Rise and Fall of New York City’s Private Social Clubs
Wednesday, June 17, 2015, by James Nevius
Forty-third and forty-fourth streets became a “club row.” In the late 1880s, the Harvard Club hired Charles McKim to build its new home at 27-29 West 44th Street (right), which opened in 1894. (A McKim Mead & White addition was added in 1905, creating, in the club’s own words, “the finest clubroom in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world.”) McKim’s partner, Stanford White, was simultaneously hired by the Century Association to build its new headquarters a block away on West 43rd Street, which opened in 1891. In 1901, Warren & Wettmore’s appropriately nautical New York Yacht Club opened next to door to Harvard, and the Yale Club opened the same year a block away (in a building that now houses the Penn Club).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Wednesday, June 17, 2015 • Permalink

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