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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yale Club

Yale Club facade on Vanderbilt Avenue is extremely restrained compared to Harvard Club a few blocks away.

From the internet (Wikipedia):

Clubhouse

The Yale Club's main entrance on Vanderbilt Avenue
The club is located at 50 Vanderbilt Avenue, at the intersection of East 44th Street,[2] across Vanderbilt Avenue from Grand Central Terminal and the MetLife Building. Four other clubs affiliated with Ivy League universities have clubhouses in the surrounding neighborhood: the Harvard Club of New York, the Princeton Club of New York, the Penn Club of New York City, and the Cornell Club.[3] The neighborhood also includes similar clubs not affiliated with universities, like the New York Yacht Club and the University Club of New York,[3] as well as the flagship stores of Brooks Brothers, J. Press, and Paul Stuart, which traditionally catered to the club set.[4]
The 22-story clubhouse contains three dining rooms (a grill room, a tap room, and a roof dining room and terrace), two bars (the grill room and the main lounge), banquet rooms for up to 500 people, 140 guestrooms, a library, an athletic center, and a barber shop, among other amenities.[5][6] The heart of the clubhouse is the main lounge, a large room with a high, ornate ceiling and wood-paneled walls lined with fireplaces and portraits of the five Yale-educated American presidents, all of whom are or were members of the Yale Club: William Howard Taft; Gerald R. Ford; George H.W. Bush; William Jefferson Clinton; and George W. Bush.[7] Outside the lounge above the main staircase hangs a posthumous portrait of Elihu Yale by Francis Edwin Elwell.

 History

The roots of the club reach back to 1868 and the foundation of the Old Yale Alumni Association of New York. In response to the association's desire for a permanent clubhouse, it formally established the Yale Club in 1897. One of the incorporators was Senator Chauncey Depew, whose portrait by the Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury painted in 1890 hangs in the building. The first president of the Yale Club was attorney Thomas Thacher, founder of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. The first clubhouse was a rented brownstone at 17 East 26th Street.[5] Thereafter, in 1901, the club built and opened a new, twelve-story clubhouse at 30 West 44th Street,[5] which today is home to the Penn Club of New York.[3]
The current clubhouse opened in June 1915, designed by architect and Yale alumnus James Gamble Rogers.[2] It was largely paid for by money raised or contributed by President George C. Ide of Brooklyn (whose portrait by Adolfo Müller-Ury also hangs in the building). It purposely was situated on the very corner where Yale alumnus Nathan Hale was hanged by the British Army for espionage during the American Revolution.[8] Today, the site of Hale's execution is disputed.[8]

 Membership

Today, membership is restricted to alumni, faculty, and full-time graduate students of Yale University.[9] The club also offers legacy memberships for any Yale-affiliated member's children and grandchildren. The club sends out a monthly newsletter to all members.
Yale College did not allow women to become members until 1969.[10] Wives of members even had to enter the club through a separate entrance (today the service entrance), and were not allowed to have access to much of the clubhouse.[11] Once Yale opened to women, however, the club quickly followed suit on July 30, 1969,[11] although the club did not open its bar, dining room, or athletic facilities to women until 1974[12] and did not open its swimming pool (known as "the plunge") to women until 1987.[13] Now, though, women constitute a large percentage of the club's membership.
Three other, smaller clubs also are in residence at the Yale Club: the Dartmouth Club, the Virginia Club, and the Delta Kappa Epsilon Club. Members of these other clubs have the same access to the clubhouse and its facilities as members of the Yale Club itself.
According to a book published for the club's 1997 centennial, members at that time included George H. W. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, John Kerry and George Pataki. Among others were architect Cesar Pelli and author David McCullough. Today, the Yale Club has over 11,000 members worldwide.[1]

 Recent events

Heisman Trophy which was awarded to USC Trojans quarterback Carson Palmer at the Yale Club in 2002.

Dress code

In July 1999, the Yale Club became the first of New York's Ivy League university clubs to change its dress code to business casual, a move which upset some members and was received with polite scorn from other clubs.[14] Today, the dress code remains business casual, except in the roof dining room, where formal business attire is required, and in the athletic facilities.[15]