Civic Club / Estonian House

Coordinates: 40°44′42.5″N 73°58′34.4″W / 40.745139°N 73.976222°W / 40.745139; -73.976222
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Civic Club
(New York Estonian House)
Location243 East 34th Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°44′42.5″N 73°58′34.4″W / 40.745139°N 73.976222°W / 40.745139; -73.976222
ArchitectThomas A. Gray
Architectural styleBeaux-Arts
NRHP reference No.82003372[1]
NYCL No.0980
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 16, 1982
Designated NYCLMarch 28, 1978

The Civic Club building, now the New York Estonian House (Estonian: New Yorgi Eesti Maja), is a four-story Beaux-Arts building located at 243 East 34th Street between Second and Third Avenues in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.

The house was originally built for the Civic Club in 1898–1899, having been designed by Brooklyn architect Thomas A. Gray. The Civic Club was founded by the local social reformer F. Norton Goddard (1861–1905) to reduce poverty and fight against gambling in the neighborhood. After Goddard's death in 1905 the club ceased to exist, but the building remained in the Goddard family until 1946, when Frederick Norton's widow sold it for $25,000 to The New York Estonian Educational Society, Inc., which is still the owner of the house today. The building underwent a $100,000 restoration in 1992.[2][3]

Known as the Estonian House (Eesti Maja), the building houses a number of Estonian organizations such as the New York Estonian School (New Yorgi Eesti Kool), choruses for men and women and a folk dancing group.[3] Vaba Eesti Sõna, the largest Estonian-language newspaper in the United States, is also published at the New York Estonian House.[4][5] The Estonian House has become the main center of Estonian culture on the U.S. Eastern seaboard, especially amongst Estonian-Americans.

The building was designated as a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1978 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Estonian House; Beaux-Arts Restoration". The New York Times. May 17, 1992. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Estonian House History, Board of Directors and Organizations". New York Estonian House. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  4. ^ Goodnough, Abby (November 6, 1994). "Making it Work; Cold War Without End". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  5. ^ "Estonia and the US". Estonian Consulate General in New York City. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2009.

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