When New York power-lunched at the Cloud Club

Chryslerbuilding1930sSkyscraper dining used to be trendy among the city’s captains of industry.

Corporate bigwigs could broker deals over a luxurious meal at the Sky Club in the Pan Am Building and the Hemisphere Club in the Time-Life Building.

And for execs who really took their power lunches seriously, there was the private, men-only Cloud Club, which opened in 1930 on the 66th, 67th, and 68th floors at the top of the Chrysler Building on 42nd Street.

“The main dining room, one floor up and connected by a bronze and marble Renaissance-style staircase, had a futuristic, Fritz Lang sort of look, with polished granite columns and etched glass sconces,” wrote Charles McGrath in a 2005 New York Times article.


“There was a cloud mural on the vaulted ceiling, and a mural of Manhattan on the north wall. On the same floor Walter Chrysler had a private dining room with an etched-glass frieze of automobile workers.”

And while Prohibition was still in effect, the Cloud Club offered private cabinets for executives who needed a place to store their liquor.

CloudclubfriezedecopixWhen the Chrysler Building began losing tenants in the 1970s, the Cloud Club lost its cache as well.

It closed in 1979 (after finally admitting women) and as retro-cool as it might be, there are no plans to reopen the space as a restaurant.

“The grand staircase has been yanked out, and the rest of the space has been pretty well expunged of ghosts and memories. Except for a marble floor and 54-inch-wide windows—which on a clear day offer a view so expansive it’s like looking at New York on HDTV—it offers not a clue to its former incarnation,” said McGrath.

Photos: Decopix. More photos of the Cloud Club can be found here.

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7 Responses to “When New York power-lunched at the Cloud Club”

  1. Ryan Says:

    I was on the 67th floor of chrysler myself recently and would not have known this was the spaces former incarnation if I hadn’t read it here. They are offices now. Extremely ornate offices with spectacular views, but offices nonetheless. The 69th floor is now a host of dental suites, so high up that the windows are the little triangular slivers that light up at night.

    • The Maven Says:

      I didn’t realize the dental suites are still there, but that means they’ve actually been part of the Chrysler building for nearly half of its existence, if not longer. I had several appointments with an orthodontist there back in 1976/early 1977 (I want to say I recall watching helicopters land on the Pan Am Building, but that may be my memory playing tricks), and the narrow triangular windows were almost distracting enough to divert my attention from what was being done to my mouth.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Sounds like a scenic place to get a teeth cleaning!

  3. petey Says:




  4. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Very cool…thanks Petey!

  5. Elsewhere | Visualingual Says:

    […] When New York Power-Lunched at the Cloud Club: a glimpse inside a once-swanky club in the Chrysler Building, courtesy of Ephemeral New York. […]

  6. Elsewhere | Department of Everyday Visualingual Says:

    […] When New York Power-Lunched at the Cloud Club: a glimpse inside a once-swanky club in the Chrysler Building, courtesy of Ephemeral New York. […]

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