The Harmony Club of New Orleans was an elite men's social club. Though it was not completely sectarian, it was understood to be for the Jewish elite of the city. Founded in 1872, the club moved locations several times before building its own clubhouse on the corner of St. Charles and Jackson Avenues in 1896. Its members were highly influential within the secular and Jewish communities, and quite often were among the financial leaders of New Orleans. Founded for purely social efforts, the club was known for its lavish balls, which were held during Carnival, New Years, and a host of other holidays.

The club came about in 1872 after the merger of two older fraternal organizations: the Deutsche Company and the Young Bachelors’ Club. The Young Bachelors’ Club was organized around 1856, and the Deutsche Company dates back to 1862 when the idea of a club for prominent Jewish and German males was suggested by a man named Salomon Marx. [1]

Officially chartered and recognized by the city and state on May 5, 1880, The Harmony Club quickly made its way into the upper echelon of New Orleans Society. According to a copy of their constitution, by-laws, and rules of order, the club’s stated purpose was, “the cultivation of sociability, and the fostering of intellectual culture,… and the advancement of the members in science and literature.” [2] While much of its stated purpose is debatable, one part that was not was “the cultivation of sociability.”

Constructed between 1896 and 1897, The Harmony Club’s final and most grand home was regarded as one of the finest buildings in New Orleans. It was designed by Architect J.M. Torgerson, who at the time was famous for designing the beautiful buildings of the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition held in New Orleans. Constructed with white Georgia Marble, the clubhouse was three stories tall with a large and ornate ballroom on the third floor. It stood 118 feet across St. Charles Avenue and 60 feet down Jackson Avenue. [3] The Clubhouse contained elegant parlors for ladies and gentlemen, dressing rooms for ladies, a well-stocked library, dining room, card rooms, and billiard rooms. Outside on the broad front lawn, the mansion featured an archery range and bowling alley. The gentleman’s parlor hosted theatrical productions, with the capacity to hold 250 people. W. H. Coleman.

The Harmony Club sold the building in 1917. It was razed in 1963 to make space for a twelve-story, multi-million dollar apartment house.

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2000 Block St Charles Avenue, New Orleans LA