There are few things more exclusive than a private club.
After years of working within the members-only club scene in London, Alan Linn saw a space in the market for a club that catered specifically to New York City’s abundant creative community.
In 2007 he came to the US and opened Norwood, a now-bustling five-story club with more than 1,000 members ranging from 21 to 80 years old. Its ranks include architects, fashion designers, musicians, media moguls, and art collectors.
Linn’s number-one tip for making it through the selection process is simple: “Be curious.”
We talked to Linn about the history of Norwood, and what it’s like to be a part of one of New York’s top creative communities.
The club is located in an unassuming brownstone near the corner of West 14th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. Built in 1874 by Andrew S. Norwood, the building was, at the time, an extravagant mansion with a total 13 fireplaces, mahogany doors, and intricate plaster crown molding.
To be accepted to the club, you must prove your involvement with the creative arts, and go through an extensive hour-long interview, which gets reported to the board of directors. “It’s as much as what are we going to get out of them as members, as what are they going to get out of us,” Linn said. There’s a $ 800 membership joining fee, and an annual fee of $ 2,200 a year — or $ 1,250 if you’re under 30.
“When we take on new members, it’s not always about everyone knowing everyone,” Linn said. “It’s about creating an alchemy, so to speak. It’s nice to combine various professions and backgrounds at one dinner table.”