Back to Blog

Behind the Iron Private Club Curtain of the Cosmos Club

For me this was really a personal tour because my Grandmother was a member of the Cosmos Club, she was one of the very first woman Neurophysiologists in our country.  She worked both at NIH and UCLA running experiments, medical libraries, and publishing research.  If you are a medical history buff, then buy her books on Amazon.  They are the only history neurology books available on Amazon.  I can assure you she wrote them all long handed on yellow pad paper while she was ill with cancer.

We began our tour in the main hall with a little history of Mary Scott Townson, her hundred servants, and her mansion that was custom built in what was the outback wild forest of Washington, DC, populated by a few farms, and dirt roads.  Mrs. Thompson’s home has a very easy gracious flow to it, which has a modern feel.  When you were invited you would walk up an extremely interesting stairway into the reception room where you met Mrs. Thompson.  Afterwards, you walked into one of the very first Ballrooms in Washington, DC.  And, I am sure many people wanted to copy the chandeliers, gilded details, French doors, and curtains for their own homes. I fell in love with this room immediately.  Not only was it thoughtfully designed for great entertainment it was beyond beautiful.   Our tour guide showed us beautiful statues, portraits of famous intellectuals, and told us what all the rooms were formally used for, and what the Cosmos Club currently uses the rooms for.

My favorites from this tour which you should look out for was to see chestnut wood flooring, Paul Wayland Bartlett’s Lafayette statue, the story behind the curtains made in India, photos of members who have won achievements, Mrs. Townson’s personal office covered in W.H. Holmes paintings,  and the American Pottery collections.

If you are interested in having a tour behind Cosmos Club’s Iron Curtain, please call202-387-7783. The upcoming tour dates are July 13, September 14, and November 9th