Harvard Club upgrade to include rooftop bar, additional guest rooms

Proposal will go before Landmarks next month

Renderings of the Harvard Club rooftop addition
Renderings of the Harvard Club rooftop addition

The 125-year-old Harvard Club of New York is planning to add a rooftop bar and terrace, a doubles squash court and additional guest rooms to its landmarked building in Midtown.

A plan by Rogers Marvel Architects will be presented before the Landmarks Preservation Commission on October 2.

The exclusive alumni club at 27 West 44th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, occupies several buildings including the original neo-Georgian McKim Mead & White building from 1894, and an eight-story glass and steel addition completed in 2003.

The last time the club expanded, to build the addition, it caused a stir among members who objected to the modernist architecture wedged between the Harvard Club and the landmarked New York Yacht Club, a Beaux-Arts building at 37 West 44th Street. Opponents filed a lawsuit in 2001, but that effort fizzled and the construction went forward.

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The newest additions have not created a similar fuss. The local Community Board 5 is backing the plan.

Landlords and tenants are increasingly building new structures on rooftops, observers say.

“We are seeing a lot of this type of utilization of existing space,” said Scott Spector, principal with the architecture firm Spector Group, which has offices at 19 West 44th Street, overlooking the Harvard Club roof.

Spector Group is not involved in the Harvard Club project.