On July 15, 1845, the New York Yacht Club opened its first clubhouse – one year after its founding. It was a one-room Gothic Revival building designed by noted architect A. J. Davis, on land owned by Commodore John Cox Stevens in Hoboken, New Jersey -- across from Manhattan. Over the next half century, the Club would occupy four additional clubhouses: two in Manhattan and two on Staten Island. The Club also maintained at one time nearly a dozen stations, small buildings and landings where members and friends could rendezvous, send a letter or make a telephone call.
By the late 1890s, with the membership over one thousand, the Club required more space. Property on 44th Street in Manhattan was donated to the Club by Commodore J. Pierpont Morgan, and a competition was held for the design of the building. The result was a clubhouse designed by Whitney Warren in the popular Beaux-Arts style that was awash with the iconography of the sea. The new clubhouse epitomized the goal of the NYYC: to share and foster an interest in yachting and yacht racing.