Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


The Cosmos Club: The Ultimate "Gentleman's Club"

The Cosmos Club is located at 1515 Massachusetts Avenue NW, near Dupont Circle.  To be eligible for membership, one must have "done meritorious original work in science, literature, or the arts, or... recognized as distinguished in a learned profession or in public service".  Until 1988, they didn't let women in.  And when a gentleman friend (he distinguished himself in public service)  invited me there for dinner back in the 1970's, I (well, all women) had to enter through the side door.  Now they let us in as members, and if we are invited by a guest, we get to come in through the beautiful front door.  

So it's not really a gentleman's club any more.  And it is a beautiful place.  It used to be someone's home -  it was known as the Mary Scott Townsend house.  Her daughter lived there until World War II, and after she died, the Cosmos Club bought it from her estate. 

This is another one of those places I'd recommend seeing, whether you are visiting or live here in DC. 


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Comment balloon 14 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 11 2012 10:35PM



Excellent history and story of this place. Must have been a heck of a house

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) almost 9 years ago

That use to be a house. WOW! I wonder what the inside of the Cosmos Club look like. Thanks for sharing Pat.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) almost 9 years ago

Patricia - thsi looks like a magnificent place, and even more so after we know they are allowing women use the front door (LOL)

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) almost 9 years ago

Is this part of a college haha! FANCY! :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 9 years ago

It would be interesting to see the membership list. I wonder who the first woman member was?

Posted by Rose King, Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area (David Tracy Real Estate) almost 9 years ago


That is stunning architecture. Thankfully times have changed, but what took so long?! I, too, would be curious about membership, and dues. LOL


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Been by it many times!  Never been in it!  Well, after all, it is a Gentlemen's Club, and well, they might not let me in...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Pat, there is the University Club in Providence which was similar to this one and my CEO of my corporation I worked for had me entertaining out of state consultants here on proposals and it was the male domain...I would be the only female in the 80's to be in it and only allowed in one of the dining times changed...yes.


Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Gentleman's club with no women? 

That sounds like. .. .no so much fun

We are lucky living around Washington DC . . that house reminds me of houses I saw in France. . they were the elite society then. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 9 years ago

I remember the Cosmos Club!  And I remember having to enter through the side door the only time I ever got to go in it.  I remember being "peeved!"  Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) almost 9 years ago

Beautiful building.  Thanks for telling us about the Cosmos Club.

Yuletide at Winterthur IMG_3121

Photograph by Roy Kelley

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs


Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 9 years ago

Dupont Circle..interesting area....

What a wonderful institution!

Happy New Year!

Posted by Tracy Santrock, Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge (Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. ) almost 9 years ago

Beautiful!!!  Kristine :)

Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Sisters, Realtors (Compass) almost 9 years ago

Thanks for the little history lesson to go with that beautiful photo, Pat!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 9 years ago