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1925 F Street Club Collection

Identifier: MS2360-UA

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, meeting minutes, personnel files, financial records, programs, brochures, menus, photographs, guest dining schedules, and publicity materials. The material dates from 1933-1999. These are the records of the 1925 F Street Club, a prominent social club in Washington, D.C. during the twentieth century.


  • Creation: circa 1933 -circa 1999

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

The F Street Club was once called “the hardest door in Washington to open” because of its elite status as the premier social club in the district. The private social club was started in 1933 by Laura Merriam Curtis Gross and was managed by Gross until her death in 1973. Gross was the uncrowned queen of the Republican party during her lifetime, so many of the clubs were powerful members of that party. However, in the later part of the twentieth century, more and more people of the Democratic party joined the club as well.

The club could accommodate about 48 people for dinner, and it became renowned for its intimate setting. Presidents such as Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan held parties at the club, and many more influential Washingtonians hosted and attended functions at the club.

Before becoming the F Street Club, the house was originally built for U.S. Navy Admiral, Charles Steedman in 1849. Its next owner was local businessman, Alexander Ray, whose family owned the house from 1868 until it was purchased by American University around 1920 to be used a downtown campus for the institution. When those plans did not quickly come to fruition, the university rented the house to Mrs. Gross who lived in it for a little over ten years before transforming it into the famous social club. The George Washington University purchased the house from American University, which still officially owned the property, in 1974; however, it continued to lease the property to the club. In 1999, the club disbanded, and the house became the Alumni House for GWU. President Knapp, the university’s president, moved into the house in 2008, and it remains the official residence of the president of GWU.


4.75 Linear Feet (Four document boxes, one record center box, one flat box)

Language of Materials



The 1925 F Street Club was one of the most exclusive social clubs in Washington, D.C. during the 20th century. This collection contains, guest lists, correspondences, financial records, operational records, event documents, and publicity materials of the club. The materials in the collection range in dates from circa 1933-circa 1999.


The materials are divided into five series: Financial Records, Club Management Documents, Club Events, Publicity, and Materials from Dr. Richard H. "Dick" Howland.

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Exact acquisition date and source are unknown, although it is believed that most of this collection came to the archives in 2008 when the building was turned into the President's Residence. (Previously accession 751)

The acquisition date and source for Series 5 is unknown.

Guide to the 1925 F Street Club Collection, 1933-1999
In Progress
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

George Washington University Gelman Library
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052 United States of America