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This section references scholarly and other materials related to the 1616 Latimer Street property and Art Deco design.



Sarah Peterson, “Re-Discovering Jules Bouy's Modernist Interior for the Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia”

(Masters thesis, 2012), University of Pennsylvania.

1616 Latimer Street (1929) marks the most creative phase of Jules Bouy’s career. He arrived in the United States from Europe in 1913, bringing a mix of modernism and Art Deco that helped establish the American modern style, accented by his own unique array of design details. The building is a rare example of an intact Bouy interior with original furnishings and interior spaces designed together as a single vision creating a “theatre” showcasing the modern woman. Fireplaces, hardware, and much of the furniture Buoy designed specifically for the Club House are still in place and in use.


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Elizabeth Natalie Lissy, “Analysis of Original Finishes of Jules Bouy’s 1930 Interior for the Cosmopolitan Club of Philadelphia”

(thesis, Master of Science in Historic Preservation, 2013),

University of Pennsylvania.


Lissy’s thesis augments Peterson’s study by determining color palettes, painting techniques, and paint types of four of the most important rooms – the Entry, the Lounge, the Library, and the Stair Hall. A palette of grays, blues, and tans were found in one room, while three shades of green with pale yellow in another. Resulting information is interpreted in the context of the building and period. Recommendations for steps to restore Bouy’s polychrome interior.  (Source: Abstract).

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Description of the Building,” Cosmopolitan Club (2007).
The Description of the Building” was developed as part of an application to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places as a stand-alone designation, which ultimately was not needed because the City determined that the structure was already recognized as a Contributing Property to the Rittenhouse-Fitler Historic District. A copy of the Description may be obtained by calling the 1616 Latimer Fund at 267-457-2172. 

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Edmund Gilchrist’s “singular elegant design” for 1616 Latimer Street (1929-1930) uses an idiom characteristic of Art Deco, reflecting forms being used in the newly erected skyscrapers of the period, including his own Lewis Tower (now Aria).

Aria is a 33-story Philadelphia Art Deco skyscraper designed concurrently with 1616 Latimer Street. An exceptionally slender building, Aria was one of the Philadelphia’s tallest office high-rises until the skyscraper boom of the late 1980s.

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The Decorative Thirties, Revised & Edited by Philippe Garner, Martin Battersby (London: John Calmann and King, Ltd., 1988.

Considerable misunderstanding has arisen as to the exact use of the terms ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Modernist’ and the two names are often incorrectly applied. At its best, the effect of Art Deco was one of elegant luxury, of a delight in ornament for its own sake, while rather restricted range of decorative motifs gave an overall unity of style, which made it applicable to anything from the façade of a building to the decoration of a vanity case, and an immediately recognizable character.

Style Notes

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Source: Cosmopolitan Club, "Description of the Building."


Interior design in 20th‐century America: A History, C. Ray Smith (New York: Harper & Row, 1987).

Art Moderne is machine‐inspired, more abstract, and more consistently rectilinear, or at least more geometrically formal than Art Deco. The two styles are distinguished physically, as they are verbally, by ornament and decoration versus machine‐inspired abstraction. Art Moderne rejected the classicism of Art Deco and adopted, instead, the imagery of Futurism and of the machine. It proffered rectilinear forms, parallel lines, and the modern materials, such as glass, mirror, and metal.  

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 Master Plan for 1616 Latimer Street
The guiding framework for the preservation of 1616 Latimer Street is a 2021 master plan that provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of a Twentieth-century women’s club, as well as preservation of the Gilchrist Art Deco façade and interior treatments that reflect Bouy’s vision for creating a “theatre” showcasing the modern woman. Included are recommended priorities, project schedules, architectural fit-out for interior finishes, ADA improvements, life/safety recommendations, photographs, renderings, and recommendations. Preliminary input from regional professional firms includes assessment of the building envelop; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; and cost-estimating.

Plans for the Future 

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