Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We attended a wedding this weekend at a classic institution of late 19th century New York: The Players Club.

Founded in 1888 by Edwin Booth (brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes) Mark Twain and General William Tecumseh Sherman, the Players Club became a home for intellectuals, writers, and especially actors of the time.  Members still include many famous names from screen and stage.

The building was originally a private townhome, built in 1847, for a wealthy banker.  During the 1840's the streets around Gramercy Park and the 20's and 30's along 5th Avenue were the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city.  Gramercy Park is one of only two private parks in the city that requires a key for entry, and the only one in Manhattan.  By the time the club was founded in the 1880's the area was no longer the most fashionable place to call home (that title had moved uptown to 5th Avenue just below Central Park).  Gramercy had, however, become a symbol of old New York gentility... and thus an excellent location for a club that celebrated the artistic and intellectual legacy of the city.

Here is the library around 1907

And today...

There is a great accumulation of portraits, books and old stuffs.  Check it out:

This guy had a good spirit.

Images via musuem planet.com, theatre jones and Piera Gelardi

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