11616 Latimer Street was constructed as a women’s club and has continued to be used for the same purpose for over 90 years. The owners of 1616 Latimer Street have been good stewards of this important asset – within their financial means. Membership fees in recent years have included funds earmarked to a capital reserve fund for larger maintenance projects. Such projects have included repointing and remortaring of the exterior western wall, replacing a deteriorating roof;, and restoration of the original Bouy painted arches in the entry and reception area.
Along with regular maintenance, there have been changes and upgrades to the design, systems and kitchen over the years. But the building is now suffering from deteriorating infrastructure and lack of investment in major upgrades. Full accessibility has never been completely addressed.
The original beauty and excitement of the building’ s interior have been altered to reflect changing tastes. Many aspects of the décor need restoration so future generations can experience Bouy’s realization of the dynamism of the modern, for the forward-thinking “cosmopolitan” women.
In 2021, the Cosmopolitan Club made a preliminary investment toward initiation of a new 5-year Master Plan that provides an updated comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of a 21st-Century women’s club, as well as preservation of the Gilchrist Art Deco façade and the interior aesthetic treatments that reflect Bouy’s vision for creating a “theatre” showcasing the modern woman.
The principal objectives of the Plan include activating underutilized space within the building; formulating what and how to restore aspects of its original design; and upgrading as necessary to meet current standards of accessibility, health and safety.
The Master Plan is the guiding framework for an Implementation Task Force of architecture and historic preservation professionals tasked with overseeing future work on the 1616 Latimer Street building.
Current Projects – a pilot project for the facade of 1616 Latimer Street
The Cosmopolitan Club has submitted its first proposal to the Fund in 2022-- restoration of the clubhouse facade as a pilot project. The Fund has approved a series of grant awards to the Club for the pilot segment of the project, including improved accessibility and an entrance ramp.
With the Master Plan as a guiding framework, the Cosmopolitan Club Board will approve additional projects as they arise from the Implementation Task Force as proposals to 1616 Latimer Fund for funding from the Building on a Legacy campaign. Campaign funds will be used for the next capital priorities as they are proposed and approved. The next projects are expected to include HVAC replacement, improving accessibility and elevator installation.