The following research was inspired by an architectural project with which the firm of William Green Architecture is currently engaged. This project spurred research on historical private clubs in New York City, which then naturally expanded to span from their historical roots to their place in modern society.
The Origin of the Private Club
Private clubs have been a fixture of urban society for nearly two centuries, first in England and later in the United States. The motivation to form clubs derives from basic human desires: sociability; belonging to a larger entity; the comfortable safety net of being judged by a wider pool of friends and associations, rather than only one’s self. They are also arguably practical. Etymologically, “Club” derives from “cleave” – splitting the costs to reap the benefits of privilege . The sensibility increases when clubs form around a common interest, as they are often wont to do. Members pool their resources, from financial to social, and their experiences, to create a hotbed of cultural production and consumption. xxxxxx (more…)