Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How The Detroit Club was founded over lunch

It was 1882 and two prominent Detroit businessmen met, as they often did, for lunch. They discussed business and exchanged news of the day. At some point, an idea struck them: why not rent a house, hire a chef, and welcome in other businessmen who would enjoy a place to meet, eat and talk. The Detroit Club was born.

Ten years later, the Club had grown in size and it moved into this four-story clubhouse on Fort Street and Cass Avenue, a building that still houses The Detroit Club today. It's across the street from The People Mover's Fort-Cass station, and for its red-brick, rounded-corner design, it stands out among the many better-known skyscrapers that surround it. In the photo above, that's the old Free Press Building standing in the background.

Today, The Detroit Club (not to be confused with the Detroit Economic Club) remains what it's always been, with an extended mission. It's still a members-only place where business people get together and network, but the club in recent years has taken a more activist stance and has helped tackle the many social issues challenging Detroit.