The Metropolitan Club began with a meeting of six officials of the U.S. Treasury on October 1, 1863. These men sought to organize the first literary and social club in the nation's capital. Twelve days later the club was formally established with forty-three members and a constitution which stated the club's intent to "promote social and literary intercourse and enjoyment among the members" who would not exceed 250 in number. In its second year of existence, the club began to accept out-of-town members which helped to develop its role as a national institution.
The building was constructed in 1908 by Hiens and LaFarge in the Beaux-Arts style on the site of the first Metropolitan Clubhouse, which was destroyed by a fire in 1904. It is five stories high and its two main facades, on 17th and H Streets, are organized in a tripartite arrangement. The facades are clad in buff brick and limestone. The formal design includes bow-shape bays, porticoes, windows in the frieze and a balustrade. A two-story, three bay annex, designed by the firm of Donn and Deming (1921-1923), with an addition by Bowie-Gridley (1986-1988), is located to the west.
DC designation: November 8, 1964
National Register listing: April 28, 1995