Watering Holes: The Union League Club

38 East 37th Street, New York, New York 10016

(212) 685-3899

Founded in 1863 as part of a movement of men’s clubs dedicated to preserving the Union, the Union League Club of New York (other Union League clubs are in Philadelphia and Chicago) is a highly-regarded social club in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood.

Library, The Union League Club.

Library, The Union League Club.

The Club’s civic involvement is legendary: its members helped build Grant’s Tomb, the Statue of Liberty, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. During the Civil War, they organized a fighting unit of freed slaves; during Reconstruction, they organized armed member-militias to defend black voters from the Ku Klux Klan. Theodore Roosevelt and Chester A. Arthur were members; so were Ulysses S. Grant, J.P. Morgan, and J.D. Rockefeller. Honorary members include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, General Norman Schwarzkopf, and former President George H.W. Bush.

The Club’s amenities are equally legendary: facilities include 60 guest rooms, a distinguished art collection, one of the largest club libraries in New York City, and top-flight squash courts. And, of course, the Main Bar and the Club Room, both well-known for their traditional decor and relaxed ambiance in city that is anything but relaxed.


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