The downtown Pensacola building which for many years housed Pensacola’s Colored Citizen, a black newspaper, will soon be home to an elite members-only club called “The Establishment.”

Could they possibly have come up with a creepier, more dystopian-sounding name?

The club is located in the two-story brick building at 201 South Baylen Street, built in 1898 by Christian Thiesen, a Danish immigrant to Pensacola who also built the handsome building at Palafox & Romana which bears his name. The Colored Citizen began publishing from the building in 1914 and continued to do so until 1952.

The October 9, 1914 issue of the Colored Citizen

The new private club caters to the wealthy, with a monthly membership cost of $175, or a cover charge of $100 each time non-members enter. A monthly subscription to the Colored Citizen in 1914, on the other hand, cost just $3.19 in today’s dollars.

It’s not as simple as just having the cash, though. New members have to apply, and their applications will be reviewed by the club’s seven-member board. Better hope you have the right stuff.

The history of private, members-only clubs in America is largely one of racism and anti-Semitism. We can only hope that “The Establishment,” cognizant of the hallowed ground which it now occupies, will do better.

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