In 1907, Chicago author Hamlin Garland and friends founded the Attic Club, which two years later was re-named The Cliff Dwellers. Now, as then, it is a private club and functions as a non-profit organization for men and women either professionally engaged in, or who support, the fine arts and the performing arts.

Since its 1996 move from atop Symphony Center (formerly Orchestra Hall) next door, all the facilities of The Cliff Dwellers Club are located in the 22nd floor penthouse of the office building at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue at Adams Street. Its lakefront facilities overlook Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • July 13, 2023

    The Cliff Dwellers: The History of a Chicago Institution

    Read Henry Regnery's history of the Club

  • March 1, 2023

    Past Presidents of The Cliff Dwellers

    Learn the names of our 44 board presidents going back to 1907

  • April 23, 2013

    Robert W. Thiebout

    We remember our great friend and colleague Robert W. Thiebout. May 6, 1923 – April 23, 2013

  • April 14, 2003

    Reminisces: A Literary Puzzle

    Our Club was named after the novel The Cliff Dwellers by Henry Blake Fuller. Fuller however refused to join the Club and does not appear to have used it after it was established. Why did he refuse to join and what does this action tell us about the Club?

  • April 1, 2001

    The True Story of the Bird Girl

    A recognizable figure of a girl with outstretched palms stands motionless in full view of diners at the Cliff Dwellers. It is the famed Bird Girl, whose statue has become forever associated with the John Berendt bestseller, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” and the subsequent movie.

  • February 28, 2001

    The Club Moves: 1996 to Present

    Enter the welcoming ambiance of this private club and you sense the reassuring familiarity of a second home. And, indeed it is a home — call it a comfortable refuge for those who’ve made the fine arts a valued part of their lives, a premiere social site nurtured by nearly a century of active interest and participation.

  • October 27, 1994

    Above It All

    There are 31 marble steps from the eighth floor of Orchestra Hall up to the Cliff Dwellers' penthouse. Even when you're alone on them, people keep looking over your shoulder.

  • February 28, 1990

    The Early Years: 1907 to Early 1980’s

    It was the purpose of the founders of The Cliff Dwellers to establish a place where people seriously interested in the arts, both professionally and, so to speak as committed observers, could come together in a congenial and friendly way. The moving spirit was the writer Hamlin Garland, who is remembered for such books as Main-Travelled Roads and Son of the Middle Border.