River House residents fighting to save their club

November 10, 2013 12:00PM

The private 62,000-square-foot River Club has long been an important part of the luxury and allure of the storied River House co-op. But now that the club is listed as a massive $130 million home, many of the building’s dismayed residents are desperately hunting for a way to save it.

Last month, a letter signed by 40 of the building’s owners – including notables such as former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former ambassador Donald Blinken and magazine editor Alexandra Penney – went out to the co-op board, asking them to keep the club.

“People who are fanatical about the River Club would say the River Club is the essence of River House,” John Allison, the co-op’s chairman said. “Then there are other people who don’t feel that at all. It’s a mixed bag. And it’s complex.”

Both Allison and Charles Berry, the president of the River Club, told the New York Times that they still hope to negotiate a compromise and that they are optimistic that a means of keeping the club will be found. In fact, the listing no longer includes the club’s extra lawn space or its garage.

However, Allison did add that if the club sold to an outsider buyer it could benefit all the residents: “I don’t want to count chickens before they hatch, but if there were any funds left over, the building would have in effect an endowment,” Allison said. [NYT]Christopher Cameron