The building was originally built in 1901-1902 on the watch of the Tammany boss Richard Croker, to house the headquarters of the Tammany Central Association.
"Croker, who had become boss of Tammany Hall in 1886, for 16 years worked the job not as a public service, but as a money tree. Of the three dozen individual Tammany districts, Croker’s Tammany Central Association, the 20th, occupied an old house at 207 East 32nd Street. In July 1901, optimistic about the coming fall elections, the organization started work on a purpose-built clubhouse on the same site.
The architect, Robert T. Lyons, developed an exuberantly French facade of red brick and limestone, with a mansard roof; although showy for 32nd Street east of the Third Avenue El, it was worthy of any lot on Fifth Avenue. Lyons presumably gave it a few smoke-filled rooms, and it also had a top-floor gymnasium, card rooms and an assembly hall for political conventions."
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