John Forrester Andrew must be turning over in his Mausoleum.
One of the most traditional of traditional places – the Back Bay’s Algonquin Club – has done the ultimate 21st Century pivot, introduced a more trendy name.
The circa 1880s Gilded Age social club that counts Forrester Andrew, it’s first president, and a real U.S. President, Calvin Coolidge, as members has petitioned the License Board to change its name from the tried and true Algonquin Club to the ‘Quin House.
A hearing last week on the matter went before the Board and it was taken under advisement, but will likely pass muster in good time.
“We are seeking a change of name from the Algonquin Club to the ‘Quin House,” said Attorney Patricia Malone.
The property at 217 Commonwealth Ave. changed hands two years ago when Sandra Edgerley of Hexagon Properties bought the old clubhouse and sought to reimagine it into the 21st Century as a private social club for those a little more hip than the old Algonquin name might suggest.
Renovations have been ongoing for the past two years, and Attorney Malone said they were putting up their liquor license as collateral to Needham Bank for the construction loan.
“We believe it will be opening at the beginning of June,” she said. “The pandemic has thrown kind of a wrench into the renovations. We are hoping to be open by June of this year.”
Already, Hexagon has put $25 million in cash into the renovations, Malone said.
According to a history by Benjamin Bergenholtz, when the Club was completed in 1888 by designers McKim, Mead & White, it was hailed as the most perfectly appointed clubhouse in America.
As of his writing in 2014, much of the original layout and placement of furniture had not changed since the Club opened.