Bel-Air Bay Club: Past & Present

A Pictorial History Celebrating 90-years

The story of the Bel-Air Bay Club began in the 1920s when Los Angeles developer Alphonzo E. Bell had a vision to create a country place by the sea after his successful inland development of Bel-Air. In a 1927 prospectus by author Edward O’Day, he described a deep-rooted and instinctive westward urge that leads men from the valleys to the crests and over the crests down to the sea; a liberation from inland constraint established along the Pacific Ocean shore of Southern California. This magical place was first described in 1602 by cartographer Gerónimo Martínez de la Palacios as, “the crescent indentation of the California coastline at the 34th parallel” and further marked with a notation…“Grande Ensenada”. The first words of admiration. This 31-acre rectangle along the oceanfront known as Bel Air Bay was part of the original 6,659 acre-Spanish Land Grant known as Rancho Boca de Santa Monica. It is here that Bell along with architect Elmer Grey and landscape architect Mark Daniels designed an idyllic enclave of sixty-seven cottage sites meandering along the hillside from Sunset Boulevard to Arno Way down to the natural cliff top where the Upper Club sits majestically overlooking the Lower Club and 1,200-feet of beach frontage. Bell’s idea was simple in that it struck the heart of what people value the most — spending their leisure time at the beach, close to nature and away from the increasing hustle and bustle of a growing Los Angeles metropolis. Ninety years later, that thought still holds true. Today, members want the freedom to relax and enjoy the athletic and social activities among their extended family of other members. This book is dedicated to the early members who envisioned the type of Club that could be possible and to today’s members who are ensuring that the vibrancy and relevancy of the Bel Air Bay Club will sustain for decades to come for the benefit of future generations. This book was printed and distributed to members in November 2017.

The House That Women Built: The First One Hundred Years of the Metropolitan Club of San Francisco

The story of the House that Women Built began in the early 1900s when the city of San Francisco, the most important port city of the New West, was experiencing unprecedented growth. It was then that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and three days of subsequent fires helped set the stage to shape the city that we know today. Women of all economic backgrounds became involved in the fight for equality and had a significant impact on the new cityscape. Influential women led the way by forming many local organizations including the first woman’s athletic club west of Chicago. The initial idea for a woman’s athletic club in San Francisco was proposed at the home of Mrs. William Denman on an afternoon in 1912. Over tea with Mrs. Thomas Driscoll and Mrs. Babcock (later Mrs. John Lawson), Elizabeth Taylor Pillsbury, daughter of the publisher of the Boston Globe, shared her recent experience of visiting the Woman’s Athletic Club of Chicago. She described the elegant club on Michigan Avenue with its large ballroom, well-appointed dining room, pool, gymnasium, and beauty shop. The core of the membership of the club was expected to come from the Social Register, but efforts were made to reach artistically trained and working-class women. The Club was founded in 1915 with the aim of “education first and recreation and pleasure afterwards.” One hundred years later, The Metropolitan Club of San Francisco formerly The Woman’s Athletic Club of San Francisco, stands strong while a new generation of women walk through the doors, learn of their shared history, and make lifelong friends. This book is dedicated to the women who envisioned that there would be a place to congregate for athletics and social interaction, and to the women who built the dream. It is also about the women who throughout the decades have supported the Club and today’s women who present this Club history for the benefit of future generations. This book was written in 2015 printed and distributed in early 2018.

A Pictorial History of the University Club of San Diego Traces Club’s Roots from Monthly Gathering Place to Pre-eminent Networking Venue

A Pictorial History of the University Club of San Diego, traces the timeline of the more than century-old institution from its earliest days as a meeting place for educated persons to discuss current events to its current incarnation as San Diego’s most successful and longest-surviving business and civic club and one of San Diego’s oldest corporations. “A Club is more than a building and friendship is more than membership,” Julie Walke, author said. “The University Club of San Diego is really about the people who have made an impact along the way, and those who make an impact today. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this organization since 1989 when Thomas Sefton President of San Diego Trust & Savings Bank asked me to participate on the transition Board just prior to the membership move to Symphony Towers.” Proceeds from the book will benefit the University Club’s Lamp of Learning Scholarship Fund founded in 2005.

The University Club of San Diego’s roots started in the decades following the Civil War, while the country was experiencing a cultural revolution of higher learning and a growing middle class. It’s history goes as far back as 1896, when 13 women and eight men began monthly meetings, bringing together persons with academic degrees to discuss current topics of the day. This group formed the College Graduate Club, which later became the nucleus for the University Club. On December 18, 1908 a group of men from the core of the College Graduate Club met and created an inter-fraternity, male-only membership organization named the University Club of San Diego. Less than a year later, the Club had incorporated and began meeting in a rented mansion at the corner of Fourth and A Streets in downtown San Diego. By 1916, the University Club established its first member-owned headquarters in a new building designed by architects William S. Hebbard and Carleton Winslow Sr. at 1333 Seventh Avenue. In 1970, the third Clubhouse was designed and built on the same site with underground parking. The three-story modern brick building included an expansion to the corner of Seventh and A Streets. Adapting with the changing times, the club began accepting women members in 1975. In 1989, the club’s members sold the clubhouse and more than 300 joined Dallas-based Club Corporation of America in the new University Club atop Symphony Towers. At that time the eighty-year-old corporation was renamed the 1909 University Club of San Diego Inc. and concentrated its’ efforts in support of education, art and history.

A Pictorial History of the University Club of San Diego is available for purchase at the University Club atop Symphony Towers, 750 B Street, Suite 3400, San Diego, CA 92101. Please call (858) 729-9933 for more information.

HOBY: The First 50 Years Empower, Lead, Excel

The words and pictures of more than fifty years of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is presented by author Julie Walke, in celebration of the organization’s birth, growth, and rise to greatness. Hollywood actor O’Brian started HOBY in 1958 after he traveled to the African jungle hospital and met the inspirational Nobel prize-winning Dr. Albert Schweitzer. HOBY has helped to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders by inspiring a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. HOBY programs annually provide nearly 10,000 local and international high school students the opportunity to participate in unique leadership training, service learning and motivation-building experiences. HOBY also provides adults the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of youth by volunteering, and today more than 4,000 volunteers and over 365,000 alumni proudly make up the HOBY family. Further information may be obtained at

The Red Dressing Gown

The novel begins in the south of England in 1939 at the brink of World War II. The historical novel offers a teenage view of wartime. It is a story of loyalty, true love and commitment among four young friends against the backdrop of London’s evacuations, the fires of Southhampton and the Battle of Dunkirk. As the story begins our heroine A.J. envies her friend Marigold’s seemingly perfect life. To forget her troubles, A.J. reaches out to American pen pal Kay who writes about wartime life in Pennsylvania. Carefree Jimmy, a wealthy royal, moves into town and befriends the girls. Fortunes change when Marigold has a traumatic accident and A.J. discovers a keen interest in helping her but Kay is too far away to help. Torn between love and fate A.J. realizes that English society is partial to privilege but Jimmy convinces her that England will become less class-conscious and more democratic after the war. On both sides of the Atlantic, A.J., Kay, Marigold and Jimmy learn the value of true friendship while seeking their independence and success.

Imperial Beach: A Pictorial History 

A wonderful combination of people, activities and events make Imperial Beach unique, livable, and special. This 8 ½ x 11 hardcover book captures the small-town character and easy-going style of Imperial Beach in 144 pages of exiting text and over 200 beautiful photographs. This limited edition volume also offers a wealth of information interweaving the story of the city with the history of the state and nation. The high-quality photographs and in-depth information make this book a wonderful learning tool and lifelong reminder of the richly blessed community of Imperial Beach.