Toledo’s best-loved century-old businesses

. July 1, 2015.
Lobby-vertical

By Pat Nowak    Photos courtesy of the Toledo club

This is part of our MLiving Series highlighting businesses that have

prospered for over 100 years,

demonstrating hard work,

passion, patience and ingenuity.

The Toledo Club, a bastion of old money and fabulous architecture opened its doors on Saturday, June 19, 1915. Since then it has become the premiere meeting place for movers and shakers and on any day you can see a who’s who of business leaders, community activists and young up and comers.

In 1870, Toledo business leaders  began meeting regularly to discuss the happenings of our city. David Ross Locke, who went by the pen name Petroleum V. Nasby, gave the group the name Draconian,  which, was widely received as harsh. Members changed the name to The Toledo Club in 1889 and a new building on Madison and Huron Sts. served as its headquarters.  Membership was then limited to 350. Twenty five years later, when the building was outgrown, plans were made to find a new location.

A site was purchased and The Toledo Club was built at Madison and 14th for $500,000. The architects were Mills, Rhines, Bellman and Norhoff with Lawrence Bellman as the chief architect for the English Renaissance Building.

The outside is Harvard brick and Indiana limestone. Many of the rooms were originally decorated to reflect English and Italian Renaissance themes. The club featured dining rooms, restaurant and private meeting rooms. An athletic complex with a basketball court, bowling alley/squash courts and swimming pool was opened in 1926.

In the beginning ladies were not welcome throughout the club,  but eventually a side entrance and dining room were designated for their use.

Original-TC-Building

While dues remained stable members were each assessed $50 in 1922 due to lost revenue because of Prohibition. The Depression also brought some cost cutting measures with only cash allowed and increased luncheon and dinner prices. The original billiards room was turned into the Red Room which is used today for events and musical performances.

One of the noteworthy entertainment happenings at the club is when Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians played  a one night stand -. Unfortunately it was a limited seating many members were not able to get in.

The club has evolved in recent years adding parties, redecorating several of the rooms, redoing the athletic complex and expanding its squash facilities. Members enjoy competitive play with the biggest tournament of the year being the Toledo Squash Classic with  players coming from the US and Canada. The Club hosted the North American Open Singles Championships. This crown jewel of squash was held from 1987–1990 in the 3 walled, glass tour court erected in the ballroom. The glass tour court was also brought in for the WPSA-World Professional Squash Association Championships in 1986.

In 1990, membership became gender inclusive, and the club is now a part of the green energy brigade.Today you can take a spin class, body sculpt or visit the barber shop. If you need alterations, call the tailor and buffets are widely attended. While the dress code used to be more formal, favoring suits, today proper business casual attire is required and in the main dining room, suit jackets are allowed, sans tie.

The Membership classifications have been revised to fit different lifestyles and budgets. The Toledo Club will be hosting a mortgage burning celebration on Thursday, July 30 at a members-only event.

This article includes information from The Toledo Club Topics. Anyone interested in a Toledo Club Membership Experience may contact Membership Director, Russ Wozniak at [email protected]

Trending

2021 Resolutions: Planning for the world after 2020

    A worldwide pandemic, a contentious national election and a renewed examination of racism in America, accompanied by hurricanes, fires and even murder hornets, made 2020 a once-in-a-lifetime year.  “The hardest thing for people to get used to in 2020 was the lack of predictability,” explained Matt Rizzo, CEO and president of A Renewed

RESTAURANTS OFFERING HEALTHY OPTIONS Need to take off five pounds after the holidays? 

  Happy New Year!  Did you eat your way through the holidays?  Need or want to shed a few pounds?  Still want to enjoy restaurant fare?  Diets and restaurants are not necessarily incompatible.  The USDA gives these tips for making healthy choices at restaurants.  Drink water, split  meals, pick salads full of vegetables with dressing

Who is this person taking care of me? Local health systems utilize ‘hospitalist’ approach

by Jason Webber Dr. Steven Zook is a hometown product and a University of Toledo School of Medicine graduate who works at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. He’s also a member of what has been called “the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine”—hospitalists. What is a hospitalist? Coined in 1996, the term “hospitalist” is

Take Control of Your Healthcare Journey: Hospice versus Palliative Care

Taking care of a loved one with a serious illness can be a confusing time that leads to a number of high-stakes questions. Do they require end-of-life care? Do healthcare plans provide for long term treatment? What are the options? Local services can help to answer these tough questions relating to both palliative care and