The Hyperion Club was the brainchild of a pair of local Harlem businessmen. Looking to capitalize on the boom of the Roaring ‘20s and on the local Harlem Renaissance, the duo were interested in building a hall for music. Owing to their own diverse origins, both men pledged that the theater would not be segregated, unlike many other halls and theaters of the time. The theater opened in 1922 to immediate success, and quickly became a local hotspot. Its main theater boasted a 1,200-seat capacity, while its secondary theater boasted 400 seats.
Many of the most popular composers, musicians, singers, and bandleaders of the era either got their start at the Hyperion or played there at least once. Along with other theaters and halls in the area, the Hyperion was pivotal in turning jazz, blues, spirituals, and swing mainstream. Thanks to connections with organized crime, alcohol and other good times were plentiful, adding to the Hyperion experience.
Like similar establishments, the theater went into a decline after World War II. When maintaining the theater was no longer profitable, its original owners sold it to a film making company, where the building became a prop storage facility and a set. In 1983, the City of New York recognized the architectural, historical, and cultural significance of the Hyperion and designated it a New York City Landmark.
Thanks to its status as “capital of the world”, New York City was devastated during the Great War. The Hyperion Club was not targeted specifically, but it was heavily damaged in the nuclear holocaust. While it did suffer catastrophic structural damage, it was no completely leveled.
Between 2268 and 2270, individuals from various Skyscraper Tribe members began leaving their respective groups. While the details behind this exodus is unknown, the exodus was clearly preplanned ahead of time, as virtually all of the defectors assembled in a specific place- the Hyperion Club, just outside the Concrete Jungle.
Settled in their new home, these men and women of very different backgrounds and upbringings began taking on new identities. Surrounded by the opulence of the Pre-War establishment, they themselves began putting on facades of elitism and wealth. In 2278, now calling themselves the Hyperion Club, they opened the building to outsiders, hosting balls, galas, music recitals, and other events. Simply put, they restored a little slice of pre-War luxury and were interested in restoring class to the post-War world.
Ascension Radio is based on the top floor.