I have passed this building a few times and I really admire the architecture. Looking at the lower set of windows it reminds me of something very loosely related to Gaudi. While the upper floors have a more imposing and traditional look.
The building is home to the New York Yacht Club, an organization founded in 1884 by nine men on the yacht of a prominent New Yorker. This building was finished in 1900 and designed by the same architects who designed the facade of Grand Central Terminal, Warren and Wetmore. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1987. I have not been inside, but supposedly there is a significant collection of models of yachts. It is on quiet 44th Street and perhaps not surprisingly next door to the Harvard Business Club. The New York Bar Association is nearly across the street and the Cornell Club is only a block away. Surely these clubs share some of the same members. I realize Manhattan is an island, but the location of the building seems a little odd today. Perhaps when it was built there was more direct access to the open water, but standing there today it is hard to remember that water is only a few blocks away and it seems so strange to have a yacht club in the middle of a high rise urban setting.