Boston is a city full of people at the top of their industries — whether in academia, medicine, the arts, sports, or elsewhere, you would be hard pressed to find someone who does not, well. , something. Paul and Sandy Edgerley are no different. After adopting Boston as their home many years ago, the couple has since immersed themselves in the region’s business and philanthropic worlds, become leaders in their respective fields and rubbed elbows with like-minded pioneers. What they had trouble finding, however, was a place to cross-pollinate with all the fascinating, multifaceted people around town. “There’s not necessarily a place where the younger generation can come and be associated with the generation of established authority,” Sandy says.
It was by this realization that Boston’s most lively, private private club, The ‘Quin House, came to life. Formerly The Algonquin Club, founded in 1886 (a watering hole for the brightest of the literary crowd, including Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun and more), the property has since its inception been a space that encourages conversation and connection over exclusivity. And the same mood applies today.
Unlike many member clubs where the world’s elite go to see and be seen, The ‘Quin is after something else: it’s not about personal means, but influence. “We try to err on the side of being inclusive versus exclusive,” says Paul. “I do not think we feel we should be exclusive if we provide unique experiences and there are so many extraordinary, good people in Boston.”
To find this delicate balance between accessibility and authenticity, the club offers an innovative contingent structure. In essence, members pay a minimum annual fee, broken down by age and occupation (with even lower rates for those involved in the arts, bourgeois, or nonprofit worlds earning below a certain salary). “We want this to be a place where, if you’re a young person just starting their career, you can be a member here,” Sandy says.
In return, all members – which until now include artists, opera singers, astronauts, charitable leaders and so on – contribute to the club’s programming by sharing their influence. “One of the questions we always ask in the application process is: what impact do you have on your field, in your community or in the world?”, Says Sandy. “And it’s a little fascinating to find out how our members make a difference. … it’s the feeling of wanting to make a difference, regardless of age, industry or otherwise. ”
Although this structure allows members to meet people they would not otherwise have, the space is also suitable for making such memorable meetings and meaningful connections. The building extends over 56,000 feet over six floors and was the only one in Boston designed (by McKim, Mead & White) to be a private social club. Edgerleys retained the grace and grandeur provided by the historic bones of the structure (like the central grand staircase or the inexplicably carved ceiling of the reading room), carefully choosing which areas to renovate, and getting none other than the ingenious interior designer Ken Fulk while did it. “What we liked about his approach was that it is beautiful but very comfortable,” Sandy says. “And The ‘Quin should be a place where we hope people will come all the time and just be themselves and meet people.”
So of course there is art. And much of it – a mix of old masters and contemporary artists from Edgerley’s personal collection, representative of the diverse community The ‘Quin celebrates. And as for where to consider these conversation starters, The ‘Quin offers four dining options — ranging from Parisian to Japanese-inspired cuisine — with plenty of room to chat elsewhere.
Located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay at 217 Commonwealth Avenue, The ‘Quin – from its membership structure to every detail of the design – is a home that welcomes those who want to share their influence, as well as the generations who mingled there. before that .