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The Rise and Fall of New York City's Private Social Clubs

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In 1915, the Yale Club opened a giant, 22-story facility on Vanderbilt Avenue—making it then, as now, the largest private club in the world. Celebrated at the time as a sign of Yale's dominance (both in the club world and over Harvard), the new clubhouse was the high water mark for such clubs in New York's business and social life. The 1902 edition of Club Men of New York detailed 38,000 memberships in 157 clubs, and it reads like a Who's Who of the city's elite, from well-known names like Vanderbilt, Astor, and Morgan to then-famous families who have all but faded from view.

Curbed NY has the rest of the story and more historic photos >>