The Early Clubhouse
Click on the photo for an enlargement.
A visitor to the Club in 1914 would have been dropped off at the front portico. Once through the front door, there were several offices on the immediate right side. The near one was glass paneled and housed the bookkeeper. The room presently referred to as the Library was in those days identified as a Reception Room. It had the same configuration it has today, now that the French doors have been reinstalled. In the fifties or sixties, perhaps earlier, the Reception Room was converted into the Club Steward / Club Manager’s office. These offices were eliminated in 1970, when the Club offices moved upstairs. This original Reception Room today functions as the Library. On the left of the lobby were, as today, the coat closet and the ladies’ powder room.
The architecture of the living room (referred to in those days as the Club Room) has changed little. The primary difference is that the far end of the room (past the columns) was the original dining room. Using folding screens the staff could segregate this area. Today’s formal dining room was, in those days, only an open air porch. In fact, the original brick floor is still under the carpet. The Club Room was decorated in “light buff” tones with draperies of imported linen and walls of Japanese grass cloth. The railings are as they appear today but the doors are reported as natural wood tones and the columns all white. The dining end of the room sported a sepia colored landscape wallpaper.
Beyond the dining room, through the French doors was the “dining porch”. This room, surrounded in casement windows, was a very pleasant location. In later years it became known as the ladies grille and was often the sight
of small parties. Until the addition of the Ryder Room in 1994 this room looked out on a courtyard, originally grass covered, at cellar level. The courtyard contained its own marble fountain. Unfortunately the fountain vanished at some point and the courtyard became an asphalt covered “well” that accessed the men’s locker room and the
card room behind the bowling alleys.
The present day lounge portion of the Ryder Room was originally the men’s grille. Designed in the style of an English inn it featured “high dark wainscoting, rough plastered walls, solid wood beams made into a paneled ceiling, a floor of Welsh quarry tile, and a fireplace of tapestry brick.” The fireplace still remains and, when the sun
is right, you can still see the outline of the quarry tile underneath the present carpeting.
The present Grille Room was not part of the original clubhouse. It was added in 1928 and in the plans, developed again by architect Briggs, is designated as the “Men’s Lounging Room”, intended as a place for casual gatherings and playing cards. Also included in this expansion was the back (parking lot) entrance, both upstairs and down,
and a portion of the men’s locker room under the Grille Room.
The kitchen facilities (containing the cooking area, meat room, serving room and pastry room) were completely paneled in North Carolina pine. The tent floor was a red tile similar to the one there today. There was, however, no tent. This area was referred to as a “roof garden” and featured a pergola made of cypress at the far end. This area looked over the four original tennis courts, located where the swimming pool is now. Below the “roof garden” was located the Men’s Locker Room, and below the “dining porch”, in the space now utilized as space for visiting male guests, was located the first Pro Shop.
On the second floor were separate facilities for both men and ladies. The present women’s locker room, still in its original site, has been expanded into a room (which has a marvelous view of the first hole) described as being
used for ladies functions. The area of the second floor fireplace is described as a “cozy corner” and property of the distaff side. There were six bedrooms and a sleeping dormitory on the second floor, above the east side of the clubhouse. These were for use by Members staying overnight because in those days the Club was considered in the country and quite a distance for some.
All but two of the rooms shared common bath facilities. The dormitory room is the present site of the Club’s main office. The bedrooms are presently used for individual offices and storage. Today’s Board Room is cited as being used as either a card room or small dining room. All in all, the new Clubhouse was an impressive facility.