Graciously lifted from the archives of The New York Times:
The site of the Union Club, which peers down from the crest of Lenox Hill at 69th Street and Park Avenue, is appropriate for an institution generally considered the cynosure of men’s organizations in New York.
At the moment, the building is concealed by scaffolding, but the real showstopper is its inventive interior.
Organized in 1836, the Union is considered the first men’s social club in New York, or at least the oldest. The club was known as particularly conservative. According to the historian John Steele Gordon, a member of the club, it did not expel its Confederate members during the Civil War years. Some members took exception to this and withdrew to found the Union League Club, now at 38th and Park. In the 1870s, other members, who thought the Union’s standards of admission had fallen, went off to…
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