The Harmonie Club is a private social club in New York City. Founded in 1852, the club is the second oldest social club in New York. It is located at 4 East 60th Street, in a building designed by Stanford White.
Originally named the Gesellschaft Harmonie, the club was founded on October 16, 1852 by N. Gutman, M. Werner, H. Beer, Herman Cohn, Charles Werner, and Sigmund Werner. Although prominent German Jews, the group was reportedly denied admission to the Union Club, which had a tacit policy of discrimination. The club's original charter provided that it was created to provide "mutually beneficial entertainment, occasional singing entertainments, lectures, etc" for recent German immigrants. The first meeting of the club was held November 8, 1852 in a rented room on Broome Street with thirty-nine members in attendance. Between 1852 and 1867, the burgeoning club was regularly moved as the membership outgrew each rented space. After this nomadic period the club purchased land at 45 West Forty-Second Street to erect a permanent location and raised enough funds to have architect Henry Fernbach design the building. Later, this building was refurbished and had an annex added, both of which were designed by Herts and Tallant, architects of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Coram Library at Bates College.
The growth of the club was supported through dues and the creation of a nomination process to accept new members. To govern the organization, the club held monthly meetings run by elected officers. During the first ten years of existence the group held balls, lectures, and other social events throughout New York City. The tenth anniversary was celebrated on October 18, 1863 with a banquet and ball attended by over one hundred and fifty members. Two years later the club was incorporated as, "The Harmonie Social Club of the City of New York", with two re-incorporations in 1867 and 1894. The first re-incorporation altered the provisions to allow the club to own property and the building on Forty-Second Street. The latter reincorporation was to change the name to "The Harmonie Club." Members, however, continued to use the former name, Gesellschaft Harmonie, until 1893 when the club adopted English as its official language in place of German. The club was so successful, that by 1884 the New York Times reported that "many of New-York's leading German citizens are connected" with it.
The large building erected on West Forty-Second allowed the Harmonie Club to host in-house events, and for the next forty years the club regularly scheduled events such as dances, lectures, concerts, theatrical performances, billiards, cards, and bowling. In 1891, the Admission Committee was created, removing the task of approving and voting on new members from the general monthly meetings. The turn of the century brought several changes to the club. These changes included the first events for non-married members, a declining interest in large social gatherings such as dances, and increasing property taxes along Forty-Second Street.