DC -- Dupont Circle -- Cosmos Club (2121 Mass. Ave NW):
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COSMOS_970806_01.JPG: Cosmos Club
This building was built in 1900 during the start of the building boom around DuPont Circle. It was the Washington mansion of Peter Townshend, who had headed the Erie and Pittsburgh Railroad before retiring to the area. There had been another beautiful house (the Hillyer Mansion) here before which was razed for this one, except for the foundations which were kept because Townshend's wife had been told by a soothsayer than evil would come unless something was retained from the previous place.
The Townshend's entertained here until the 1930's, hosting lavish parties. Later residents included Franklin Roosevelt.
The Cosmos Club purchased the site in 1950. This is a social club for people of wealth, power, and fame. Originally a men-only club, they changed membership rules in the late 1980's and now allow women to join as well.
Wikipedia Description: Cosmos Club
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Cosmos Club is a private social club in Washington, D.C., founded by John Wesley Powell in 1878. Among its stated goals is "The advancement of its members in science, literature, and art". Cosmos Club members have included four U.S. Presidents, two U.S. Vice Presidents, a dozen Supreme Court justices, 32 Nobel Prize winners, 56 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 45 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Since 1952, the Club's headquarters have been in the Townsend House on Embassy Row.
In addition to Powell, original members included Clarence Edward Dutton, Henry Smith Pritchett, William Harkness, and John Shaw Billings. The Club originally met in the Corcoran Building on the corner of 15th and F Streets, N.W., but moved to Lafayette Square in 1882. Eventually, the Club occupied the Tayloe and Dolley Madison Houses on the eastern side of the Square, and razed two rowhouses between them for additional space. Prompted to relocate by the federal government, the Club moved to the Townsend House in mid 1952.
Since 1887, the regular meeting place of the Philosophical Society of Washington has been the assembly hall of the Cosmos Club, now called the John Wesley Powell auditorium. The National Geographic Society was founded in the Cosmos Club in 1888, and The Wilderness Society was founded there in 1935.
For its first 110 years, the Cosmos Club did not permit women members, and forbade female guests to enter by the front door or to enter rooms reserved for members. In 1987, the Washington, D.C., Human Rights Office ruled that there was probable cause to believe that the club's men-only policy violated the city's anti-discrimination law. The Office was ready to order public hearings on the case, which could have resulted in the loss of all city licenses and permits if the all-male policy had continued, but the Cosmos Club then voted on June 19, 1988, to accept women as members.
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1997 photos: Since 1984, I've lived in Silver Spring, Maryland.
From 1981 to 2002, photos were taken using a Pentax ME Super camera.
From 1989 to 2002, I was doing all pictures as prints (instead of slides which I had grown up on).
In 1997, at the age of 40, my photo obsession began and I started taking thousands of photos per year.
In September, 2002, I switched to digital cameras and the number of photos exploded.
Image quality is going to be variable because these are scans of slides and/or prints.
The images shown here were scanned in two phases. In the early years of the website, I rescanned a selection of pre-digital images, all at fairly low quality settings. During the COVID pandemic, I launched the Great Rescanning Effort, rescanning ALL of my pre-digital images from various media (prints, slides, negatives, etc) at higher resolution and quality settings. Mutilple versions of images -- some from the initial scannning phase, some from prints, some from slides/negatives -- were posted so there are frequently duplicate images on the same page. At some point, I hope to have time to do a final review and get rid of the duplicates but that'll have to wait until all of the pre-digital images are finally posted.
Trips this year: North Carolina (Dad), Florida (Mom), using a time share in Arkansas to visit Civil War sites in Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Civil War became my excuse to see places I'd never been to in my life and it was a great motivator for 20 years or so.
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