For more than 100 years, One Hanover Square was home to a private social club called India House, where merchants and Wall Street bankers ate, drank, partied, and even got married.
Unfortunately, the hobnobbing came to a permanent end during the pandemic, when India House shuttered for good. The nonprofit social club sold the top three floors of its building — a condominium unit — to developer SomeraRoad for $6 million in early 2022. Harry’s, the historic steakhouse downstairs, has been a Wall Street destination since it opened in 1972.
But the history of the landmarked three-story property stretches all the way back to 1852, when Hanover Bank began construction on its Renaissance Revival headquarters. By the end of the 19th century, both the New York Cotton Exchange and W.R. Grace & Co. had owned and occupied the building. When William Grace — a businessman and politician who was briefly mayor of New York City — died in 1904, his son Joseph cooked up a plan to start a men’s club together with several other local businessmen.
SomeraRoad’s revamp — which wrapped in September — gives the inside a midcentury vibe. That includes warm wood paneling along the walls of an entry that hosts a similar looking wood-and-marble reception desk. The first floor now serves as a communal, 10,000-square-foot amenity space for the rest of the building, which is home to SomeraRoad’s New York City office. There’s a large lounge area with a wood-and-marble bar (backed by a new-but-aged mirror); midcentury-inspired bench seats, couches and armchairs; and polished gold light fixtures hung from the ceiling and mounted on walls. A functional wood-burning fireplace rounds out the space.
The rest of the first floor has been divided into a large conference room and smaller meeting rooms. The latter feature more casual touches, including soft olive couches, low brown coffee tables, and gray accent chairs with curved teak arms and legs. The smaller rooms also feature floor-to-ceiling wood pocket doors with frosted glass panels. The building’s grand, dark wood central staircase has also been restored. The interior designers, Brittney Hart and Justin Capuco from Husband Wife, also updated the Marine Room, a grandiose second-floor space, with plaster details of ropes and shells along the ceiling and an original brass chandelier with shell-shaped fixtures.
“We did try to preserve as much of the original architectural detailing as possible,” said Hart. “We maintained the original window framing throughout, and a lot of the details were driven by molding profiles and base detailing. They were really rooted in the era of the building.”
“For tenants, it’s a unique and special space,” said Ian Ross, a founder and principal of the firm. “It’s warm and welcoming, and it’s a place people want to be in. It reminds me of a lot of the boutique, historic office buildings in London where small finance companies and family offices work.”