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HERMIT CLUB

The HERMIT CLUB, 1629 Dodge Ct., is a meeting place for professionals and business people with talent in and appreciation of the performing arts. Organized by Cleveland architect FRANK BELL MEADE, it was patterned after the Lambs Club in New York. The Hermits' first "abbey," or headquarters, designed by Meade, was built on Hickox Pl. (3rd St.) in the heart of the downtown theatrical district of the day. Beginning in 1904, annual theatrical productions of musical comedies were staged by the Hermits as an outlet for their creative talents and as a means of paying off the abbey's indebtedness. Since then the Hermits' shows have been staged only for the pleasure of their members and friends. Out of these shows have evolved many of the Hermits' specialized performing groups, such as the Hermit Symphony Orchestra, the Hermit Jazz Group (known earlier as the Hermit Blues), the Hermit Chorus, the Hermit Drama Group, and the Hermitcrafters. The Hermit Club is best symbolized by its present abbey on Dodge Ct., whose construction in 1928 reflected the shift of the focal point of theater in Cleveland from lower Euclid Ave. to PLAYHOUSE SQUARE. Also designed by Meade, its English Tudor exterior of plaster walls and hand-hewn timbers exudes an Old World atmosphere. The interior features Gothic architecture and includes dining rooms, card rooms, reading rooms, and a lounge. Membership is limited to 400. The club has a ladies' auxiliary composed of widows of members.


Thomas, William H. The Pit, the Footlights, and the Wings: The Dramatic Record of the Hermit Club, 1904-1954 (1954).