Mrs. Cohen’s 80th Birthday Luncheon, 1937

Photos of the interior of Cohen House, especially in its early years, are few and far between. During the preparations for a new exhibit about George Cohen in the Woodson, though, some wonderful ones turned up. They were taken on the occasion of Mrs. Agnes Cohen’s 80th birthday party in 1937. Mrs. Cohen was the mother of George Cohen, whose gift in his parents’ honor provided the funding for the construction of the club in 1927.

Here’s the luncheon party. George Cohen is at right with his mother next to him and Dr. Lovett on her other side. The only other person I recognize is Harry Weiser, then Dean of the Institute, (whose colloid lab saw here) seated next to the smiling woman in the hat:

Cohen House Papers Mrs Cohens 80th birthday luncheon Cohen House 1937 072

And here’s Mrs. Cohen cutting her cake:

Mrs Cohen birthday luncheon 1937  2 046

There’s a lot that could be said about this but what’s interesting to me is that the fixtures, walls, and windows all are clearly Cohen House but I couldn’t immediately say where in Cohen House.

Luckily, there was a floor plan in the same box:

Cohen House first floor plan  048

They had to have been in the original Dining Room, which is where the  lunch buffet is set up today. The tall window in the background of the first photo is the one right above the “AND” in this William Ward Watkin drawing:

Cohen House drawing WWW nd 049

Bonus: They also planted an azalea bush in Mrs. Cohen’s honor that day. (I have a sense that 1937 would have been relatively early for azaleas in Houston.) She looks kind of happy in this shot.

I think.

Mrs Cohen birthday luncheon 1937  3  047

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2 Responses to Mrs. Cohen’s 80th Birthday Luncheon, 1937

  1. Stephen Fox says:


    The dining room is where the buffet serving line is now located. The top photograph is of the end of the room, where the daily special and red meat are served.



  2. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    Is the picture on the wall in the first photo actually askew or is it perspective?

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