The selection of the name The Lotos Club was to convey "an idea of rest and harmony." The spelling of Lotos comes from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, The Lotos Eaters, two lines of which were selected as the motto of the Club:

 In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon

The endless afternoon setting provided the ideal atmosphere to indulge in creative and stimulating thought and conversation.

Journalist De Witt Van Buren was chosen as the first president, and the Club made its first home at 2 Irving Place, off Fourteenth Street and next to the Academy of Music. The Club admitted only men until its Constitution was amended in 1976 to admit women.

Whitelaw Reid, editor of The New York Tribune, was elected the Club's president in 1872. The Club moved to 149 Fifth Avenue at Twenty-first Street -- the first home owned by the Club.
The Club then moved to 110 West 57th Street in 1909 with financial backing from Andrew Carnegie. In 1923, Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, was elected president of the Club.

In 1947, the Club entered its present home at Five East Sixty-sixth Street.

The Club's constitution provides that: “The objectives of this institution shall be to promote and develop literature, art, sculpture, music, architecture, journalism, drama, science, education and the learned professions, and to that end to encourage authors, artists, sculptors, architects, journalists, educators, scientists and members of the musical, dramatic, and learned professions in their work, and for these purposes to provide a place of assembly for them and other persons interested in and sympathetic to them, and their objectives, effort and work.” Today these objectives remain unchanged and are the fundamental guiding force for the Club.


THE LOTOS CLUB  •   Five East Sixty-sixth Street  •  New York City 10065 •  (212) 737-7100