After our previous post about The Buffalo Club, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to visit another of Buffalo’s oldest private clubs: The Saturn Club. As the story goes, in 1885 the club was founded by a group of men looking to congregate in a less formal setting than the Buffalo Club. Giving a nod to the many “University Clubs” which were popular at the time, the founders modeled their board of directors after that of a small college (a Faculty, a Dean, Registrar, Bursar, etc.). As the club grew in size, a larger space was needed. So in 1922, the club lit a torch from the fireplace and marched down Delaware Ave in a grand parade, carrying the flame of the old building and lighting it in the fireplace of the new.
After having lunch and being assured that it was ok to take photos inside, I was given a grand tour of the space, being regaled with stories of the club’s illustrious past and (without being told too much) about some of the various secret clubs and hidden messages placed throughout the building. There was still a sense of exclusivity to the club, but the entire atmosphere was much more welcoming and relaxed. Dress codes were still in effect in various spaces, and with so many dining rooms (9 bars) and meeting places throughout the club, it’s easy to get turned around in there. The vintage game room was awesome with the old school bowling lanes and oversized pool table and the indoor swimming pool was reminiscent of the Jr. Olympic Pool at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago. The space feels like an ivy league college, which makes sense with it being inspired by University Clubs of old. The dark wood and dim lighting of the hallways were complemented with beautiful stained glass windows, allowing sunlight to pour in and only further enhancing the open environment of the club.
I had a wonderful lunch and an amazing time exploring the Saturn Club. Before I left I was treated to one last surprise upon entering the library, where I was shown a chair which is engraved by special guests who have visited the club. Scroll down to the bottom to see who it was.