American Academy of Dramatic Arts/Colony Club

120 Madison Avenue
McKim, Mead & White, 1905

Like Madison Square Park, Madison Avenue was named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. The Avenue begins at 23rd Street and extends to the Madison Avenue Bridge at 138th Street. When the Manhattan street grid was mandated in 1811, there was no avenue between Fourth (now Park) and Fifth Avenues. Madison Avenue was carved out in the 1840s due to the wide distance between Fourth and Fifth Avenues and in order to create more building lots with avenue frontage. This southern section of Madison Avenue is characterized by its fine assortment of large-scale hotels, lofts and office buildings.

The Federal Eclectic style American Academy of Dramatic Arts/Colony Club is a graceful six-story structure of red brick with limestone trim. This Individual Landmark features a shallow balcony supported by pilasters at the ground level, five arched window openings at the second story, a perforated stone cornice and five dormer windows at its crown. The Colony Club was the first women’s organization in the city to build itself a club house for social and recreational activities.