The Dunes Club // 1939

This elite, members-only beach club in Narragansett, Rhode Island was originally founded in 1928. The property featured a gate house, club house, bars and cabanas for members who did not want to mingle with the typical tourists or residents. The New England Hurricane of 1938, which destroyed many buildings in Narragansett and the greater region, flooded and battered the first Dunes Club and required it to be demolished. The next year, the members pooled together resources (along with help from insurance) to hired the firm of Purves, Cope & Stewart Architects from Philadelphia, to design the Colonial Revival-Art Deco style clubhouse.

Constructed almost entirely of wood, the elongated building had two main entrances, one facing the drive approach, and one facing the beach. The street-facing entrance has a more residential quality with modestly sized windows and an entrance portico, while the beachfront facade showcases the views with large multi-pane casement windows and decks running the length of the building. To one side, cabanas were built surrounding central sandy courtyards, all with views to the beach.

Street facade, courtesy of Gottscho-Schleisner

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