Cosmos Club - Warne Ballroom

Location: Washington, DC

JMA Preservation currently serves as the architect for the restoration of the Warne Ballroom at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. The ballroom was built in 1901 and was purchased in 1950 by the Cosmos Club, the prominent Washington institution founded in 1878 for men distinguished in science, literature and the arts.

More than 100 years after its construction, the effects of age became apparent on the ballroom finishes due to moisture infiltration and outdated repair campaigns. JMA Preservation evaluated the conditions of this Louis XV style room with its profusion of gilt and painted ornamental plaster and woodwork; sanguine overdoor paintings; elaborate coffered ceiling with a central tondo; walls divided into arched bays for windows, doorways and mirrored panels; and oak parquet floor. The restoration efforts aimed to conserve as much historic fabric as possible while preserving the historic character of the room as it was from 1901-1915.

Initial work by JMA Preservation included a Master Plan to establish a scope of work for the restoration efforts. This report included investigations into the original finishes through paint analysis, historical research, and physical investigations. Following JMA Preservation's recommendations, the Cosmos Club assembled the construction team in 2010 including JMA as project architects, Whiting-Turner as General Contractor, and John Canning Studios as finish specialists. Work included painting, ornamental plaster and gilding conservation; parquet floor refinishing; electrical upgrades including restoration of the historic light fixtures; audio-visual upgrades; and mechanical systems upgrades.