Helpern Architects

Penn Club of NY

New York, New York
University of Pennsylvania
60,000 sf

This restoration and vertical expansion of a classical, early 20th-century building on New York’s “Club Row” created a warm clubhouse for University of Pennsylvania alumni and friends.

Previous inappropriate renovations and deferred maintenance had stripped out most of the original detail and left the building in serious disrepair. Using historic research as well as inspiration from the University itself, we reconstructed the interiors to provide a setting that restores the impression of a grand turn-of-the-century club.

New guest rooms and dining, banquet, meeting, and office space assist recruitment, fund-raising, and alumni activities.

The exterior was repaired and cleaned, but the extent of the restoration is most obvious on the interior. The rebuilt grand stair now connects three floors instead of two. Each guest room floor has a central “living room.” The utility spaces in the cellar are now a popular Grill Room. The original plasterwork was reclaimed and stained glass from the university archives and oak paneling added. The technology and lighting infrastructure were upgraded, and two new floors added for a gym and roof-top mechanical system.