The United Service Club was a London gentlemen's club founded in 1815 for the use of senior officers in the British Army and Royal Navy – those above the rank of Major or Commander – and the club was accordingly known to its members as "The Senior". The club closed in 1978.
Because of its emphasis on senior officers, it was considered the most prestigious of London's military clubs – reflected partly in its entry fees, which were the highest of any London club in the 1880s, although there has been some speculation this was a device to limit the number of new members.
The year after it was founded, in 1816, the Club moved into its first premises in Albermarle Street. Three years later, in 1819, it moved to Charles Street and in 1828 to a purpose-built clubhouse at 116 Pall Mall, designed by the noted architect John Nash.The club house, on the corner with Waterloo Place, was built between 1826 and 1828. Its style, displaying military friezes along the top of the building, was later mirrored by the Athenaeum opposite. Both buildings had a stone step outside, facing each other across Waterloo Place. These were for the use of the Duke of Wellington, who was a member of both clubs and rode everywhere, rather than use a carriage. These steps still stand today. The building was later altered and extended by Decimus Burton in 1858–9, and then again by the firm of Thompson and Walford, in the years 1912–13 and 1929–30. It was built on the site of the former Carlton House.
In 1892 members were concerned that the club was facing financial difficulties and elected to allow lesser ranks – down to Army Captains and Naval Lieutenants – as members.This led to a significant increase in membership and in 1910 the Club expanded its premises into the existing Nos. 118 and 119 Pall Mall.
Despite the club's prestige, like many other clubs it ran into serious financial difficulties in the 1970s, and was forced to close in 1978. The building was bought by the Institute of Directors (IoD), and a condition of the sale was that the IoD would retain all of the club's original fixtures and fittings (including the Duke's step), which it still does today. However, although the building survives substantially intact, the old club building makes up only part of the IoD headquarters on Pall Mall, whose complex encompasses several neighbouring buildings which were never part of the club.
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The Travellers Club is a private gentlemen's club situated at 106 Pall Mall in London, United Kingdom. It is the oldest of the surviving Pall Mall clubs and one of the most exclusive, having been established in 1819. It was described as "the quintessential English gentleman's club" by the Los Angeles Times in 2004.
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The St James's Club was a London gentlemen's club which operated between 1857 and 1978. It was founded by two leading diplomats and its members continued to be largely diplomats and authors. It was first established in Charles Street and moved to 106 Piccadilly by 1868. In the final quarter of the twentieth century many gentlemen’s clubs of London suffered from declining membership, and in 1978 the St James's Club merged with Brooks's Club and vacated its premises.
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The Beaconsfield Club was a London gentlemen's club, now dissolved, which was established in 1880 and was disbanded circa 1887-8. For most of its existence, between 1880 and 1887, it occupied 66-68 Pall Mall, London.
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Palazzo style refers to an architectural style of the 19th and 20th centuries based upon the palazzi (palaces) built by wealthy families of the Italian Renaissance. The term refers to the general shape, proportion and a cluster of characteristics, rather than a specific design; hence it is applied to buildings spanning a period of nearly two hundred years, regardless of date, provided they are a symmetrical, corniced, basemented and with neat rows of windows. "Palazzo style" buildings of the 19th century are sometimes referred to as being of Italianate architecture, but this term is also applied to a much more ornate style, particularly of residences and public buildings.