Cloud Club

Coordinates: 40°45′5″N 73°58′31″W / 40.75139°N 73.97528°W / 40.75139; -73.97528

The Cloud Club occupied the 66th, 67th, and 68th floors of the Chrysler Building in New York City. It opened in July 1930 with a membership of 300, including Edward F. Hutton, Condé Nast and the boxer Gene Tunney.

The Cloud Club was created partly at the behest of the Texas Company (later known as Texaco), which requested that there be a suitable restaurant for its executives before leasing 14 floors of the new building. The club's design reflected a compromise between William van Alen, who gave the rest of the Chrysler its trademark modernist look, and Walter Chrysler, who preferred a baronial and faux medieval design. Included was a Tudor-style lounge on the 66th floor, with mortise-and-tenon oak paneling, and a Grill Room in Olde English style, with pegged plank floors, wood beams, wrought-iron chandeliers and leaded glass doors.

Main dining room's mural painting

The main dining room, one floor up and connected by a bronze and marble Renaissance-style staircase, had a futuristic look, with polished granite columns and etched glass sconces. There was a cloud mural on the vaulted ceiling, and a mural of Manhattan on the North wall. On the same floor Walter Chrysler had a private dining room with an etched-glass frieze of automobile workers. There was also a private Texaco dining room, with a giant mural of a refinery, and what was reputed to be the grandest men's room in all of New York.

The club also contained kitchens, a stock-ticker room, a humidor, a barber shop and a locker room with cabinets (used for hiding alcohol during Prohibition). Because of the way the Chrysler Building is set back on its higher floors, the club occupied a space that would be considered very cramped by today's standards.

The club did not admit women for decades, and was not open in the evenings.

The fortunes of the Cloud Club began to decline in the 1950s and 1960s with the defection of some members to the nearby Sky Club in the Pan Am Building (now MetLife Building) and Pinnacle Club in the Socony-Mobil Building, which were both newer and bigger. The whole Chrysler Building fell on hard times in the mid-1970s, and in 1977, Texaco, whose executives were then a mainstay of the Cloud Club membership, moved to Westchester. The Cloud Club closed for good in 1979, and various schemes to rehabilitate and reopen it never came to fruition.

Tishman Speyer, which took over the Chrysler Building in 1998 and painstakingly refurbished it, has leased the top two floors of the Cloud Club space to tenants, while the first floor of the club is still awaiting an occupant.

In fiction

The Cloud Club is featured in Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3.

The Cloud Club is mentioned in the Seinfeld episode The Voice.

It is mentioned in the song The Story Of The Eggs by the New York band Wheatus. It is from their second seasonal EP Pop, Songs & Death Vol.2: The Jupiter EP.

External links

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