To Kalon Club: Home of the Public Archaeology Laboratory Inc.
About This Site
The To Kalon Club, which takes its name from the Greek phrase meaning “the good, beautiful hospitality,” was founded in 1867 by a group of prominent Pawtucket and Central Falls textile magnates and industrialists. The Club served as a gathering site for members (all men until the late 20th century) to socialize and network with their business peers. The Club hired local architect Albert H. Humes to design the clubhouse after its former home, the Pitcher Mansion on Main Street, burned down in 1909. The new Classical Revival style building was completed in 1911, featuring banquet facilities, a bowling alley, a billiard room, meeting rooms, a gentleman’s lounge, and bedrooms for overnight guests. All but the bowling alley remains.
The building now serves as headquarters for The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL), a Pawtucket-based cultural resource management firm. PAL purchased the clubhouse in 2011 and rehabilitated it with the aid of federal historic preservation tax incentives. Established as a nonprofit corporation in 1982, PAL has grown to become the largest private cultural resource management firm in New England, specializing in archaeology, architectural history, research, and preservation planning.
Behind The Scenes
Almost every element of the old To Kalon Club remains intact thanks to PAL’s thoughtful restoration of the building, from the grand fireplaces to the antique bathrooms. Call for the butler in any of the rooms and see if he appears! While you’re visiting, take a peek at some of the archeological treasures unearthed from around New England – including some from here in Rhode Island.
Photographs by Christian Scully, Design Imaging Studios. Exterior photograph courtesty of The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.