The Club that Wool Built
Andover’s Lanam Club was established in 1957 by a group of businessmen and named to reflect the region: L for Lawrence, A for Andover, NA for North Andover, and M for Methuen. The Spanish mission-style structure, originally named Orlando, was built as a private residence in 1916 by William H. Wood. A renaissance man, Wood was an efficiency expert with interests in manufacturing, stocks and bonds, banking and community building. While working for his father-in-law, Frederick Ayer, in 1889, he merged a number of struggling mills into a single firm that became the “American Woolen Co.” By the 1920s, the company operated 60 woolen mills across New England, one of which was the yarn-producing Ayer Mill in Lawrence. The glass faces in the mill’s clock tower are only a few inches shorter than those in London’s Big Ben, and it is still an architectural focal point on the Merrimack River.
Today, the Lanam Club serves as a business and social club, and as an event venue. The grounds feature grassy stretches and terraced gardens. Inside, you’ll find hand-carved woodwork, ornately ornamented ceilings, and decor in classic gold, hunter green and burgundy. The building is a regional treasure, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.