ANT-460 Marvelous Giant Chandeliers from the Petroleum Club, Houston, Texas
The Petroleum Club dates to 1946 when it was established by a group of Houston oilmen. It’s first president was R.E. “Bob” Smith. In 1951 the group began meeting on the top floor of the Rice Hotel in Houston. As it’s membershipo increased, the club needed more room. So, in 1963, it moved into it’s 800 Bell Avenue, 43rd Floor, location on the southern end of downtown where it occupied 45,000 sq feet. When the club changed hands in 2014, it had been the meeting location for more than 20 energy-related organizations which met at the club monthly. Associations such as the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Houston Chemical Association, and the Geophysical Society of Houston...amongst others...held regular meetings in this club.
As of Jan 12th, 2015, the club changed ownership and function to the Exxon Mobile Corp., and that was when these chandeliers became available.
Our original acquisition of 8 of these beauties has now reduced to a quantity of 5 available for purchase.
Its décor is a throwback to the times when the oil business was run almost solely by men, who ordered up furnishings to reflect their power.
“The design and appointments must create a feeling of strength,” Adolphe G. Gueymard, a banker and club official, instructed the architects in a 1960 letter, quoted in Mr. Donahue’s book, “The Finest in the Land,” published in 1984. “Although the club is to be basically for the male sex, we must not completely disregard our opposite sex,” Mr. Gueymard wrote. The club offered bridge luncheons and fashion shows for the “ladies.”
Chairs were built for “big-butted Texas oilmen,” according to the history. Leather designed to mimic the iridescent quality of petroleum came from Scottish cows, whose hides lacked the barbed-wire punctures common in American livestock.
The club’s most prominent piece of art hangs in its cavernous ballroom: a 21-foot-tall tapestry of the layers of rock that run beneath Texas, created by Houston artist David Adickes and hand-woven in Madrid.
“A lot of it yells 1960s at you,” said Fort Flowers, a Houston investment manager whose parents had their first date at the Petroleum Club. Mr. Flowers, a former engineer at Schlumberger Ltd., joined the club in 1988. It has become more inclusive over the years, he said, even accepting members who haven’t drilled an oil well.
Carol Clark Tatkon, a former treasurer of Exxon USA, became the club’s first woman member in 1980. Nell St. Cyr, a Royal Dutch Shell PLC executive, was the first woman elected president, in 2012. Today, women make up 14% of the 1,200 members.
There's no doubt that at least some of the deals that shaped the modern oil and gas industry were hatched at the bar and at dinner tables in Houston's Petroleum Club. It's been referenced, for example, as a favorite spot of the former President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and has an elite subgroup called Don't Mess with Oil. The club opened in 1947 and moved to its current location at the top of the ExxonMobil building in 1963. But don't think the Petroleum Club is reserved for the old and über-rich. The club's Young Professionals Association hosts poker and cigar nights, as well as monthly happy hours.
Measurements: 10' 10" in height by 5ft diameter (bottom tier). Top tier measures 3.5 ft diameter.