not all those who wander are lost

From the online Detroit News:

The University Club was founded in 1899 in Swan’s Chop House at the northwest corner of Woodward and Larned. George P. Codd, a University of Michigan baseball pitcher, congressman and mayor, was the first president. After one year at Swan’s, they moved to the old Walker block for nine years, then to the Walker residence at Fort and Shelby until 1913. The club then moved to the McMillan mansion at Jefferson and Russell, the former home of U.S. Senator James McMillan, which had been built during the 1870’s. During this period, ladies were only allowed in on New Year’s Eve.

The members built their final home in 1931 on the same site on East Jefferson. It included squash and racquetball courts, leaded glass, antlered trophy heads, and the dining room: a two story great hall. There were 20 bedrooms on the third floor for permanent occupants and 4 for visitors. The main entrance was on Russell, but the ladies’ entrance was through a ‘delightful garden’ on Jefferson.

Members had to have graduated from a University or other establishment of higher learning although in 1985, in an effort to attract new members, the club was opened to those who had completed two years of college. Early members included Dexter Ferry and Albert Russell, and the club was the location for many blue-blood bachelor parties and society wedding receptions.

Residents of the guest rooms in 1962 included two brokers, a manufacturer, several business executives, a group of lawyers and a Chrysler Personnel chief. The first woman, Susan Reck, a stockbroker, was admitted in 1978.

The University Club went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992.

Definitely check out Ren Farleys write up on the University Club:

This club had sufficient funds in the late 1920s to raze the attractive mansion of Senator McMillan and commission the distinguished architect, William E. Kapp, of the Smith, Hinchman and Grylls firm, to design their club building. Since this was the University Club, Kapp designed the building in the Collegiate Gothic style. He even insisted that the color of the bricks matched the bricks used for many of the building of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

You will see that the devastation which has befallen University Club has come in just over one calender year. Ren’s photo from spring of 2008 shows a “for sale” sign, and a secure building.

The basement looks gutted by scrappers, and they are already making trips up to the roof for copper flashing. The leaded windows are melting away, and without attention will simply slough off the frame.

And here we end with the Racquet courts.

4 Responses to Inside University Club

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.