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The Downtown Club

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The Downtown Club
Downtown Athletic Club Building, 18 West Street, 28-32 Washington Street


Structure in General

existing [completed]
applied masonry
art deco


rental apartments
fitness center


  • The skyscraper springs up in three major setbacks, highlighted with limestone copings.
  • A boxing ring takes up most of the 18th floor; there is a four-lane, Olympic-sized pool on 12, and a rooftop sun deck with panoramic views.
  • The high cost of land necessitated a tall building, and the relatively small lot size dictated that the different functions and facilities of the club, including swimming pool, gymnasium, miniature golf course, squash, and tennis courts, as well as dining rooms and living quarters, be accommodated on separate floors.
  • This Art Deco creation from 1926 features a front arcade of arches with a Moorish flavor and a facade of patterned salt-glazed tiles in a range of colors from orange to brown.
  • The rooms of the club, open to members and their guests, have the calm, sleek atmosphere of an old-fashioned ocean liner.
  • The architects juxtaposed the simple massing of the building with stylized, theater-like entrance prosceniums on both facades and a dextrous use of flat and angled brick, creating a dramatic addition to the city's skyline.
  • Designated landmark status on November 14, 2000.
  • The window bays are continuous glazed strips suppressed behind brick piers.
  • Downtown Athletic Club is a membership association geared toward businessmen and lawyers who worked in lower Manhattan, it was founded in 1926. By 1927 it had purchased this site next to the Hudson River to construct its own building.
  • The tall and narrow Downtown Athletic Club is the apotheosis of the Art Deco skyscraper aesthetic, because each floor is devoted to a different function.
  • The building features a fitness center, "Trophy Club".
  • The powerful chevron motifs in the rectangular areas over the entrances and in the spandrels between the windows of the upper stories are a variation of a common design theme of the period, reflective of the speed and energy of the Jazz Age.
  • The boxy shape and variety of setbacks in the Downtown Athletic Club Building demonstrate the effects of the 1916 Building Zone Resolution, but also give some indication of the various purposes assigned to different sections of the building.

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More Information


19 West Street
28-32 Washington Street
20 West Street
Financial District
New York City
New York

Technical Data

518.01 ft
518.01 ft
515.34 ft

Involved Companies

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Features & Amenities

  • City landmark
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