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Cloud Club

Coordinates: 40°45′06″N 73°58′31″W / 40.75167°N 73.97528°W / 40.75167; -73.97528
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Cloud Club
Restaurant information
Established1930 (1930)
Closed1979 (1979)
Street address405 Lexington Avenue
CityNew York
StateNew York
Postal/ZIP Code10174
CountryUnited States
Coordinates40°45′06″N 73°58′31″W / 40.75167°N 73.97528°W / 40.75167; -73.97528

The Cloud Club was a lunch club that occupied the 66th, 67th, and 68th floors of the Chrysler Building in New York City. At one time it was the highest lunch club in the world.[1] It opened in 1930 and closed in 1979.



Texaco, a prospective tenant, had asked the management of the Chrysler Building to create a restaurant for executives. The Cloud Club opened in July 1930. At the time of its opening it had 300 members. As a result of the club opening, Texaco leased fourteen floors. The club was open during daylight hours and was closed in the evening.[2]

Many famous executives based in the tower had lunch in the club.[3] The club was only for men for several decades. In the 1950s and 1960s newer clubs opened, causing the attendance at the Cloud Club to decrease.[2] In 1971 180 corporations supplied 300 members of the club. The club declined more as competition from other clubs increased and as companies moved offices to suburban areas.[3] Texaco moved its employees to Westchester, New York in 1977, and the club closed in 1979.[2]

Tishman Speyer, which took over the Chrysler Building in 1998 and refurbished it, leased the top two floors of the Cloud Club space to tenants.[citation needed]



William Van Alen and Walter Chrysler had differing ideas of what the Cloud Club should be. The former had preferences for the modernist style while Chrysler had a preference for faux medieval and baronial styles. Charles McGrath of The New York Times wrote that the final design "reflected a somewhat uneasy compromise" between the men.[2] Christopher Gray of The New York Times stated that the "Cloud Club was a curious mix of historic and modern."[1]



McGrath stated that the space overall "seems almost preposterously small by today's standards" and because of all of the facilities inside it, its "backstage" areas "must have felt like a submarine - or, rather, like a very cramped airship."[2]

The 66th floor was the point of entry into the club. Cloud motifs were used in the entry area. The pilasters and friezes were in a neo-Classical style. The bathrooms and elevator surrounds used an Art Deco style. The flooring was made of pegged planks.[1] This floor had a bar and grill room,[2][1] done in an "olde English" style,[1] which used leaded glass doors, wood beams, chandeliers of wrought-iron, and floors in pegged planks. It also had a Tudor-style lounge decorated in oak paneling in a mortise-and-tenon style.[2]

The main dining room, on the 67th floor,[2] was located on the club's south side and had a capacity of 30 people.[1] The north wall had a mural of Manhattan. The room was decorated with etched glass sconces and granite columns.[2] The room had a view of New York City.[3] The vaulted ceiling,[2] in a Cathedral style,[1] had a cloud mural. McGrath described it as having "a futuristic, Fritz Lang sort of look".[2] A Renaissance-style staircase in marble and bronze connected the dining room with the 66th floor.[2]

The private dining room for Walter Chrysler was located on the 67th floor.[2] It used black etched paneling,[1] and included an etched frieze of automobile workers.[2] This room had a view of Central Park.[1] There was another private dining room that was for Texaco.[2] It included a mural of an oil refinery, the Texaco logo, and a truck.[3] It "was reputed to be the grandest men's room in all of New York" according to McGrath.[2] The facility also had a stock ticker room.[1]

The service areas included a barber shop, a humidor, kitchens, and a locker room. During Prohibition alcohol was stored in cabinets in the locker room.[2]



The fruit served included "No. 18" pink grapefruits, larger than supermarket grapefruits, and melons that were produced in a farm in Upstate New York owned by a club member. The most well-known dishes were bread-and-butter pudding, black bean soup, and Dover sole.[3]

In fiction





  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gray, Christopher (January 14, 1990). "The Cloud Club; Still Exciting, but Still Vacant". The New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t McGrath, Charles (May 26, 2005). "A Lunch Club for the Higher-Ups". The New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h McDowell, Edwin (April 11, 2000). "Reviving High Life, 67 Floors Up; Chrysler Building Redoes the Cloud Club's Old Space". The New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2014.