Whenever Joe and I go to a national park I always ask a ranger what I should go see. What is something cool that most people miss?
That question lead me and my cousin Joy to poke our heads into the men’s room of The Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh.
The Duquesne Club is a private club founded in 1873 by industrialists like Andrew Carnegie as an exclusive men’s club. The building on Sixth Avenue opened in 1890 and the club didn’t admit women until nearly a century later. It currently has 2,400 to 2,700 members, according to the concierge I spoke with.
You have to be invited to join. My invite must be lost in the mail, or my spam folder.
My cousin Joy and her husband Scott, however, got an invitation to an event put on by their financial adviser. I jumped at the chance when they asked Joe and I to tag along.
The event was fun, two comedians, drinks and hors d’oeuvres. No sales pitch. Better yet, afterwards we were free to roam around the exclusive club with its walls filled with original art, including some Frederic Remington sculptures, and beautiful antiques.
That’s Joy standing beneath a painting of Cousin Andrew.
Joy and I stopped by the front desk near the revolving front door where a doorman dressed in a black coat and bowler stood outside on the sidewalk. We peppered the concierge with questions about the art work and the people who’ve stayed overnight in its 42 hotel rooms.
So what’s the one thing we shouldn’t miss? I asked.
The first floor men’s room, she replied. The concierge explained that the men’s room is huge.
It was a men’s club for a century before it opened membership to women. The room is now a little smaller after renovations to install a women’s room. After weddings you’ll find the brides and bridesmaids in the men’s room looking around, she said. Just get your husband to go in and open the door wide, she said.
Joy and I had to go to the men’s room. Forget the tired husbands, our aching feet in high heels, we had to see this plumbing wonder.
Down the oak paneled hall, past the billiard room, across from a large glassed in dining area was the magic door marked “Gentlemen.”
Scott pushed open the door and held it wide.
It was the largest men’s room I’d ever seen. To the left was a shoeshine bench, rows of sinks stood along that wall. The entire room was done in marble.
But don’t ask me about the urinals, I didn’t look to the right.
Joe was unimpressed. “It was big and marble.”