Rare Books

"Mother Of Clubs: Being The History Of The First Hundred Years Of The Union Club: 1836-1936" TOWNSEND, Reginald T. (SOLD)

This first edition, printed for the members of The Union Club is limited to 1500 copies, of which this is number 1319

w/ typed July 1st, 1938 letter laid-in

[237] pp.

TOWNSEND, Reginald T.

Privately Printed


10.25" x 7.37"

The Union Club of the City of New York (commonly known as the Union Club) is a private social club in New York City that was founded in 1836. The clubhouse is located at 101 East 69th Street on the corner of Park Avenue, in a landmark building designed by Delano & Aldrich that opened on August 28, 1933.

The Union Club is the oldest private club in New York City and the fifth oldest in the United States, after the South River Club in Annapolis, Maryland (between 1700 and 1732), the Schuylkill Fishing Company in Andalusia, Pennsylvania (1732), the Old Colony Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts (1769), and the Philadelphia Club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1834). The Union Club is considered one of the most prestigious clubs in New York City.

The current building is the club's sixth clubhouse and the third built specifically for the members. The prior two clubhouses were at Fifth Avenue and 21st Street, occupied from 1855 to 1903; and on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 51st Street, a limestone clubhouse occupied from 1903 to 1933.

In 1927, club members voted to move uptown, to a quieter and less crowded location. They hired architects William Adams Delano and Chester Holmes Aldrich—who had previously designed buildings for the Knickerbocker Club, the Brook Club, and the Colony Club—to design their new clubhouse. The Union moved to its current location in 1933. The building is known for its opulence and idiosyncratic details. At one point the building featured five dining rooms and a humidor with 100,000 cigars. Notable rooms include the card room, the backgammon room, the library, and the lounge (off the squash courts).