It was 1928, and across the country women were exercising their new-found right to vote and participating in civic society in ways unheard of ten years earlier. In Philadelphia, a small group of visionary women set out to do what few women of the time had ever dreamed of doing – creating, developing, and financing an iconic building that is studied and revered to this day. The purpose of the 1616 Latimer Fund is to preserve the founders’ gem of a building, home of the Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia www.cosclub.org, and ensure that this distinctive and largely intact example of Art Deco design is brought up to modern standards that respect its history
1616 Latimer Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization qualified to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions for historic preservation. 1616 Latimer Street has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.
What We Fund
Consistent with its historic preservation mission, 1616 Latimer Fund will help pay for major capital projects with long-term impacts that will be undertaken as part of a master plan for the building’s preservation. As 1616 Latimer Street approaches 100 years of active use, the need for major investment becomes increasingly critical. The interior has been altered incrementally, often in efforts to bring interiors up to the fashion of the day. Likewise, systems, especially those more costly to fix, have been addressed incrementally.
And there is good reason for investments to be made in 1616 Latimer Street - it is a rare American example of a unified vision of Art Deco, encompassing exterior, interior, and furnishings realized in a single project. The Fund is committed to safeguarding this distinctive legacy for all who value history and excellent design, as well as retaining a relevant, safe, and welcoming home for Club members, their guests, and the public.
“Cosmopolitan” connotes open-minded reception to new ideas, and the Club’s trail-blazing founders looked beyond Philadelphia’s traditional design to a more modern aesthetic. They commissioned Philadelphian Edmund Gilchrist, a popular and well-known architect of many building throughout the city, to design a structure. For the interior, they traveled to New York and hired Jules Buoy, then and now recognized as an integral figure in early 20th-Century American design.
As 1616 Latimer Street approaches its 100th anniversary in 2030, a remarkable amount of its architectural and interior design legacy remains. Over 80 pieces of the custom-designed furniture are in the collection, along with original fixtures, fireplaces, and structural elements. 1616 Latimer Fund was established to provide financial resources that will protect and restore this important legacy, and keep it relevant to the 21st century.
How We Fund
1616 Latimer Fund is an independent not-for-profit corporation, working in concert with the Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia to preserve 1616 Latimer Street. The Fund has its own board, committees, budget, policies and processes. While maintaining an arms-length relationship, the Fund will rely on Club leadership to identify and define the building’s most critical capital needs.
The Cosmopolitan Club Board will develop and forward proposals for project funding to the 1616 Latimer Fund for review and approval. The Fund will take the lead on developing philanthropic support for approved projects.
The Fund may accept restricted gifts only upon the prior, written approval of the Fund board. The Fund reserves the right to decline gifts that are too restrictive in purpose, too difficult to administer, or for purposes outside its mission.
The Fund’s Proposal Review Committee is tasked with evaluating proposals and making funding recommendations to the Board of 1616 Latimer Fund. Based on the historic preservation guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior and the Master Plan of the Cosmopolitan Club, the Fund developed principles, design standards, and proposal requirements to ensure consistency on the part of the proposers and the reviewers. The Proposal Review Committee is made up of architectural, design and engineering professionals, and includes an independent historic preservation architecture professional.
During the current COVID pandemic, access to 1616 Latimer Street is changing in response to public recommendations.
When the Clubhouse fully reopens, bi-monthly Gallery Shows and the Holiday Boutique are open to the public. Tours of 1616 Latimer Street may be scheduled for professional groups in advance and are based on volunteer/staff availability. To inquire about tours call 215-735-1057 x2.
The board members of 1616 Latimer Fund (2021) bring relevant financial, design, legal and fundraising experience, and include:
Dianne Reed, President – Financial Services/Management Consultant
Patricia Daly, Treasurer – Retired Attorney
Ann Satterthwaite, Secretary – Fundraising Professional
Susan Maxman – Architect, Entrepreneur
Marline Milner – Retired Paralegal
Diane Newbury – Historic Preservation & Historic Resources
Shirley Trauger – Fundraising Professional
Independent member of the Proposal Review Committee: Dominique Hawkins - Architect and historic preservationist