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Kew Gardens New Country Club House
[Reprinted from the February 9, 1917 issue of the Richmond Hill Record]

Almost in the centre of Kew Gardens - one of the most charming of the Long Island beauty spots, where New Yorkers have erected their homes as an antidote to the strain of city life - has arisen as by magic a magnificent clubhouse.

The handsome Tudor Gothic structure is the home of the Kew Gardens Country Club. When formally opened on the evening of February 15 [1917], the clubhouse, equipment and grounds will represent an outlay of $100,00 [sic].

A bare quarter of an hour from the Pennsylvania station, on the mail line of the Long Island Railroad, the new club is expected to prove one of the most popular social and athletic institutions of its type in the East.

The Kew Gardens Country Club is bound to be the focal point for the social life of Kew Gardens Richmond Hill and surrounding territory. In addition (one might almost venture to say primarily), it is designed to appeal to the lovers of athletics. Its athletic facilities include 15 turf and dirt tennis courts, a squash court, putting green, shower baths, locker rooms, billiard tables and a bowling alley that is considered the finest in Queens Borough.

What may be termed the "evolution" of the Kew Gardens Country Club is the history, practically, of every co-operative institution of its kind. The idea was suggested years ago (indeed before Kew Gardens as a community existed) by Mr. Frederick T. Youngs, a pioneer member of the old Richmond Hill Golf Club [1, 2, 3] and the present Richmond Hill Club on Hillside avenue. Mr. Youngs outlined his idea of a large, commodious clubhouse, with ample verandas at the rear overlooking the grounds and a basement which should be above grade level.

The idea took root in the imagination of all, including Alrick H. Man, William A. Jones, Jr., president of the Kew Gardens Tennis Club; Charles S. Clark, president of the Mowbray Tennis Club, and many others.

In the meantime, residents of the most desirable kind established their homes in Kew and Richmond Hill. An amalgamated site committee from the Richmond Hill Club and the three tennis clubs was formed. Frequent meetings were held during the autumn and winter of 1914 and on May 10, 1915, was issued a prospectus of the Kew Gardens Country Club.

Then followed a long campaign to secure sufficient members to popularize the project. Enthusiasm rose and fell. Finally, with 150 members secured, it was decided to purchase the property and build the clubhouse.

Mr. Nathaniel Vickers, a well known architect, drew the plans which were finally adopted. Mr. Vickers' plans made concrete the "ideal house and site" which for the past two years had been in the mind [sic] of those working for the project.

With the active assistance of Mr. Man, a plot near Kew Gardens Station was secured. The grounds front 240 feet on Lefferts avenue and are approximately 500 feet in depth. The clubhouse is 105 by 98 feet. It fronts on Lefferts avenue.

On the main floor is a large lounging room, billiard room for five table, card rooms cafe, dining room with coat rooms for men and women, and a serving room between the dining room and cafe. There is an imposing entrance hall and staircase.

On the second floor, the entire east wing is devoted to a ballroom which is two stories in height. There are also nine large bedrooms with baths on this floor.

The third floor has a suite of three rooms and a bath for the use of the steward and a storage space which may be finished as bedrooms if required.

The basement is entirely above the level of the tennis courts. The west wing houses the bowling alley. In the main basement is a women's locker room, a boiler and coal room, servants' sitting room and servants' locker room. In the east wing a squash court, kitchen, store rooms, wine closet, and a very large locker for men with showers, etc.

One of the most attarctive features of the clubhouse is the extensive veranda which extends across the entire south front of the building and is 24 feet in width. One need not necessarily be of a romantic trend of mind to imagine the picture when a radiant beauty sits here enthroned on a "tournament" afternoon in May or September.

Numbered among the most enthusiastic supporters of the club are the women of the vicinity, from the athletic "tennis girl" in sport skirt to the sedate matron whose heart beats once again to the tune of youthful pleasures.

The club's active membership is composed largely of business and professional men whose interests lie for the most partin Greater New York. Young or old, they are a live, progressive lot, keenly interested in outdoor life. They have joined the new club by the hundreds not alone for the athletic advantages but because they look forward to delightful social companionship.

Frederick E. Haff, secretary of the Long Island Railroad, is president of the club. Other officers are: William A. Jones, Jr., vice president; Charles R. Smith, secretary; Conrad H. Kremp, treasurer. The board of Governors consists of the above-named and Albert T. Rohe, Dr. Elliott W. Shipman, J. Pell Disbrow, William Vitt, Frederick T. Youngs, Charles S. Clark, Frederick T. MacIssac, Burdette J. Beardsley, Alrick H. Man, Frank Sincerbeaux and F. L. W. Palmer.

The club's athletic activities will undoubtedly be centered tennis, a game which has made wondrous strides in the last decade. Among the players of tournament experience who can be called upon to represent the new organization are: Alrick H. Man, Jr., Thomas and Reginald Sturges, Herman Brockmann, H. Fields Newcombe, Narl and Kesseler Scovil, Frank Zimmerman, Edward Biddison, James Kerr and many others.

The tennis courts, it is expected, will be ready for play this spring.

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