New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hell or High Water

I'm running out of superlatives. Or perhaps, more precisely, I am running out of synonyms for words like amazed, stunned, astonished or shocked. Please go here and look at this series of 8 photos. See what I mean? Exploring this city is like going to Paris - you start to bore yourself with superlatives - like crying wolf, they start to lose their impact when used so often.
Of course, I could just let the photos speak for themselves. After all, this is supposed to be a photoblog which is typically driven by the images, with minimal or nonexistent text. But this website has metamorphised over time and the writing has become as important as the photos. I believe most regular visitors here enjoy reading, much as I enjoy learning and writing. So now there is an expectation.
These photos of the New York Yacht Club were taken whimsically. I did not even know this place existed, however it was spectacular architecturally. I did enter the premises and was immediately told that no photography was allowed. I had no idea what the interior looked like or whether visitors were permitted to tour the place. Had I known, I would
The New York Yacht Club clubhouse is located at 37 W. 44th Street. It was designed by Warren and Wetmore, the firm also responsible for the exterior of Grand Central Station.

From Christopher Gray of the New York Times:

Founded in 1844, the club had several modest headquarters for its first half century. But the activity of yachting became so luxurious that by the 1890's -- with giant steam yachts of 200 feet or more -- a new clubhouse seemed in order.
A competition attracted entries ranging from the boring -- R.H. Robertson's plain design could have been a small-town businessman's lunch club -- to the opulent -- Howard, Cauldwell & Morgan's giant, modern French design with three windows shaped like the prows of oared galleys.
The winning design was the first major work of the new partnership of Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore. They produced a rich, five-story limestone front with three windows patterned after the sterns of early Dutch ships and a large terrace at the fourth floor topped by flagstaffs and a giant wooden pergola and trellis.
It is the model room, though, that will astound the uninitiated visitor. Behind the facade's three great windows, the model room stretches back almost 100 feet under a giant floral stained glass ceiling. Ringed by a balcony with a galleon railing, the room contains hundreds of full- and half-hull ship models, including one of every defender of the America's Cup.

After looking at photos of the interior, I'm going to see those rooms in person, come hell or high water. And if high water comes, what better place to be than the New York Yacht Club? :)

Note: Membership to the New York Yacht Club is by invitation only. To tour the building, you must be accompanied by a member.

Related Postings: Transportation, Grand Central, Passing Time, The Oyster Bar, Just Passing Through.


Wayne said...

I didn't know it existed either. The creativity and craftsmanship that goes into buildings like these is hard to believe.

Good luck getting inside Brian. Rent a blue blazer with one of those generic crests on the pocket and put on one of those white yachting caps, ala Thurston Howell III. That should get you past the door.

JM said...

I've also never heard of such a building in NYC. Glad you have shown us because it is, in fact, out of this world! Fantastic! The inside reminds me, somehow, the Geography Society building in Lisbon.

Blognote said...

Brian, those photos of the New York Yacht Club are amazing, stunning, whatever...Just magnificent!!

Beth in NYC said...

I used to pass this building daily on my way to the subway and loved those windows. Thank you for posting the link to the photos - I'd always wondered what it looks like inside. Good luck gaining access; I look forward to the results!

girl in new york said...

Brian, I'm sure you get great positive feedback on your photos and accompanying text, but if it is not too repetitive, allow me to leave one more.

I always enjoy your photos and your thoughts surrounding it. It's great to see the theme develop so fluidly with each post.

- Angela L.

aviana said...

i pass this building all the time, and never knew what it was. but i took a polaroid of it about 2 weeks ago.

Therese said...

It is very interesting and the 8 photos are stunning by what they represent...