Lecture Offers a Glimpse Inside Twentieth Century Club

Article excerpt

When you pass the Twentieth Century Club, you may wonder, "What is this place?"

Everyday Pittsburghers rarely step inside what looks like a 16th- century Italian palace at Bigelow Boulevard and Parkman Street in Oakland.

Beyond the semi-circle driveway lies a world of English, French, Italian and other-style decors on four floors of rooms serving one of Pittsburgh's oldest private clubs for women. The 116-year-old club continues to admit only women.

The Twentieth Century Club -- built in 1910 and redesigned in 1930 -- boasts one of the finest Art Deco-style ballrooms in the city, says architect David Vater of Mt. Washington, a trustee of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

Vater will offer an illustrated lecture on the Twentieth Century Club at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the club.

Club members then will lead visitors through the building's lounges, dining rooms and galleries. A 7 p.m. sit-down dinner will cap the evening.

Vater's upcoming lecture is the latest in a series of talks with visits to area clubs sponsored by Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. Previous tours showcased Long Vue Country Club, Edgewood Club and Fox Chapel Golf Club.

"Here's a chance for regular Pittsburghers to go inside and see some of these places," says Vater, who designed the PIttsburgh Oratory on Bayard Street in Oakland. …