One of the meetings I attended last week in Washington, D.C. was held at The Cosmos Club. I’m not saying that attending this meeting is the only way I could get inside, but, as they say on their website:
“The Cosmos Club, founded in 1878, is a private social club for men and women distinguished in science, literature and the arts or public service. Members come from virtually every profession that has anything to do with scholarship, creative genius or intellectual distinction.
Among its members have been three Presidents, two Vice Presidents, a dozen Supreme Court justices, 36 Nobel Prize winners, 61 Pulitzer Prize winners and 55 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
So, as soon as some respected authority takes notice of the creative genius and intellectual distinction that is No Facilities, I’m in. Either that or maybe a friend of a friend of a friend gets married there. Who knows.
The Cosmos Club, in many ways, is like every “men’s” club in America. It’s selective, probably expensive, opulent, quiet and secluded. Surely, this was a place where influential
people men met, pondered, schemed, wheeled and dealed, ate drank and were entertained.
Last week, about 40 people from various points on the Information Management and Information Services map, got together to share stories, listen to influential speakers, ask questions, discuss possibilities, make plans, eat and drink. It was a great venue for such a meeting.
Several of those people were aware of my interest in history and doors. Throughout the meeting, people were asking me “did you get a picture of…” or telling me that a door that had been open was now partially closed. At one point, a friend came up and said: “If you go to the men’s room, make sure you take your camera. There’s a curved door that you’re going to want a photo of.”
This was a place where I got a slightly funny look when I stepped out to use the men’s room without wearing my jacket and where people had been ushered out of the lobby before making a phone call. I was pretty sure taking a camera into the men’s room would be frowned upon. However, I took my phone and feigned interest in some artwork until staff members passed and I could snap a picture of that curved door,
Thursday Doors is a forward thinking social blog-hop for men and women distinguished by their love of doors, and a passionate interest in history, literature and the arts. The experience is cultivated by the foremost doorthorian, Norm Frampton, of the Montreal Framptons. All members and guests should enter through the front door and peruse the doors on display in the main gallery. Those wishing to study additional doors should search for the azure amphibian and depress the button of your pointing device in his general area. The club staff will then usher you into the main gallery, where you can observe all the doors on display.
The Cosmos Club has been located in the historic Townsend House mansion on Embassy Row, near DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C. since 1952. The house had originally been home to Mary Scott Townsend and her husband Richard (retired president of the Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad). Richard died shortly after construction on the house was completed in 1901. Mary died in 1931, and the Townsend’s daughter Mathilde Scott Townsend lived in the house, off and on, through the mid to late 1940s. The Cosmos Club purchased the property in 1950. The house is adjacent to the Indian Embassy building, a photo of which is included in the gallery, especially for my friend Sharukh Bamboat who publishes a wonderful India Travel blog.
Most of the photos were taken clandestinely, using my iPhone. I did some work in Lightroom to straighten, crop and improve the lighting. Click on any photo to begin a slide show. There is a stunning photo of the building in the National Historic Registry application, but it states that it is not to be reproduced. That photo is reproduced in the pictures accompanying this history website.