Newark Athletic Club

16/20 Park Place


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Architect - Jordan Green

From the Library of Congress

The Newark Athletic Club is an integral component of the Military Park Commons Historic District. Constructed between 1921 and 1923, the building was sited in a prominent and highly visible location overlooking Military Park, around which were located many of the city's major retail stores, businesses and hotels. Reflective of the city's major regional and national important as a financial center, the Newark Athletic Club was seen by its over three thousand members as the social and cultural centerpiece within their professional lives. The club's numerous lounges areas, dining rooms, and meeting rooms, therefore, served the business and social needs of its members while its athletic facilities including a well-equipped gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool provided opportunities for relaxation and recreation. The club building also had about three hundred bedrooms.

The Newark Athletic Club is an excellent architectural example of the athletic club-form, a building type that was developed and refind during the first few decades of the 20th century, when numbers of such clubs were built. Stylistically, the building is solidly Classic Revival and an excellent example of the adaptation of Renaissance-inspired forms and Beaux Arts planning to 20th century needs. By 1943, owing to changes in Newark's economic and demographic profiles brought about, in part, by both the Depression and World War II, and the bankruptcy of the club, the building was converted into use as the Military Park Hotel, after which the building began its gradual decline. It was eventually abandoned and last occupied by numbers of street and homeless people.