The University Club of San Francisco

From Wikipedia*

The University Club of San Francisco was founded in 1890 by William Thomas, who was an alumnus of Harvard University (class of 1873), and the President of the Harvard Club of San Francisco. Thomas wished to have a club that would accept alumni of more universities than just Harvard, and would include West Coast universities such as Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley as well as Ivy League schools.

Its first clubhouse was located in a two-story Victorian manse at 722 Sutter Street near Taylor Street, just around the corner from the Bohemian Club. Like most clubs of its time, membership was limited to men, and it had the further requirement of a proposed member having completed at least two years at university; somewhat uncommon at the time except amongst the upper-middle-class. The facility provided three main benefits for its members and visitors from universities and affiliated clubs: a good private dining room, a forum for after-dinner speakers (a popular educational and entertainment pastime of the day amongst cultured young men) and comfortable overnight accommodations.

The Club quickly outgrew the Sutter Street building and in 1903, Club President William Bowers Bourn II hired architect Willis Polk to design a new clubhouse at the corner of Sutter and Van Ness Streets. (Polk would later design a country estate for Bourn in Woodside, California, thirty miles to the south, which Bourn named "Filoli".) However, before the plans could be developed or the site purchased, the Sutter Street clubhouse was destroyed by fire in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The Club rented and occupied temporary locations for the next two years.

In 1908 the Club purchased a lot atop Nob Hill at what is now 800 Powell Street, on the northeast corner of California Street, across from the Fairmont Hotel at the intersection of the two lines of the San Francisco cable car system. It had formerly been the location of the mansion of Leland Stanford, which had likewise been destroyed in the Earthquake. There, it built a new four-story brick Italianate-style clubhouse, designed by the local firm of Bliss & Faville, who also designed the Westin St. Francis Hotel, the Southern Pacific Building, portions of the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition and many other San Francisco landmarks. The new clubhouse devoted the second floor, and part of the first, to residence rooms. The third floor contained a restaurant and bar, and the fourth floor, a bar, library and other rooms. The Club also obtained the site of Stanford's former stables, situated just to the east of the Clubhouse. On that site, in the early-1970s, it constructed its athletic facilities, including singles and doubles squash courts.

In 1988, under pressure from anti-discrimination lawsuits and judicial trends, the University agreed to accept women as members.

* Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
291 views
Views by date
10.0 (1 votes)
Rate as 1Rate as 2Rate as 3Rate as 4Rate as 5Rate as 6Rate as 7Rate as 8Rate as 9Rate as 10

Comments

Policies

Please log in if you don't want to post anonymously (anonymous users cannot post links).

Note: VirtualGlobetrotting is an entertainment website is and is not associated with this post, location or person.

Please enable images and enter code to post
Reload

Around the World Mailing List

Share:

Comments

Policies

Please log in if you don't want to post anonymously (anonymous users cannot post links).

Note: VirtualGlobetrotting is an entertainment website is and is not associated with this post, location or person.

Please enable images and enter code to post
Reload