Fraternity Clubs Building, aka Jolly Madison Towers Hotel, was built in 1923 by the Allerton Hotel Group, which specialized in club-like residence hotels. Allerton had six hotels in New York City. Now under its fifth name, the hotel still honors its past.
The Fraternity Clubs Building became Midston House in the 1930s, then Hotel Lancaster in the 1960s, then Madison Towers, and currently Jolly Madison Towers. The building is scantly covered in traditional architectural sources – but detailed on page 4 of the Delta Chi Quarterly 1994-95 Winter.
At street level the Renaissance Revival-style building is distinctive but not remarkable – the Madison Avenue facade looks a bit run down. A series of nine fraternal crests adorn the second story along both the Madison Avenue and E 38th Street facades; an unidentified bas relief ship (the Mayflower?) decorates the corner. The best views are the building’s east side, seen from Park Avenue. The tower’s tapestry brickwork, arches, arcades, octagonal cupolas, and red-tiled roofs are glorious.
Fraternity Clubs Building Vital Statistics
- Location: 22 E 38th Street
- Year completed: 1923
- Architect: Murgatroyd & Ogden
- Floors: 16
- Style: Renaissance Revival
Fraternity Clubs Building Recommended Reading
- The Cornell Daily Sun Greek Societies Erect Club in New York City (November 17, 1922)
- The Blair Press New Home of Greek-Letter Fraternities (March 6, 1924)
- The New York Times advertisement (April 20, 1924)
- New York Public Library Digital Collections
- The New York Times Real Estate: POSTINGS; TRYING TO REGAIN ELEGANCE OF 20’S (September 11, 1983)
- Delta Chi Quarterly 1994-95 Winter (page 4)
- Emporis database