The Athenaeum Club was formed by a small group of gentlemen who met at the Church Institute on the 4th of February 1889. As a consequence of this meeting a number of Hobart’s gentlemen were invited to express an interest in forming a club. A positive response was received and the inaugural meeting was held at the Church Institute on the 5th of March 1889.
Dr. Crowther moved that the club be named the Athenaeum Club and a subsequent motion that Mr Tarleton be president. Both motions were passed.
The members continued to meet at the Church Institute until club member Mr G. Adams in 1902 funded Mr. R. Flack Ricards (Architect – who was also a member) to provide a design for a building for the Athenaeum Club.
His Edwardian Baroque design was accepted and Mr. Duncan was contracted to commence construction in 1903. Only minor changes and additions have been made to the original building.
Incidentally Mr. R. Flack Ricards is reputed to have designed the North Hobart Post Office and the Treasury Chambers (cnr Murray and Davey), City Hall, Werndee in Lenah Valley and the Hobart High School among others. He arrived in Hobart in 1885 and had previously worked in London.
The Athenaeum Club remains a private members club for meeting, learning, dining and relaxing. It supports a culture of mentorship, equality and fellowship for its members and guests, and welcomes all who wish to engage in artistic, intellectual and social pursuits.