Further up Mass Ave, lies the Cosmos Club, a Gentleman's Club dedicated to "the advancement of it's members in science, literature, and art.", although since 1988 they have been open to Ladies as well. They moved here from Lafayette Square in 1952.
Previously, the house was a private residence, built by Curtis Hilyer in the 1873. In 1901 it was purchased by railroad magnate Richard Townsend and his wife Mary Scott. While the location was particularly fashionable, the house was in the dated Victorian style instead of the more popular Beaux Arts that was trendy at the time. Rather than demolish and build a new one, Mary Scott Townsend insisted that the previous house remain intact. When she was young, a gypsy had told her she would die under a new roof. The prominent New York architectural firm Carreere and Hasting was hired to remodel the previous structure into what you see today.
Ironically, while Mary Scott Townsend lived to a ripe old age, her husband dies two years later.