A Pictorial History of the University Club of San Diego

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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. 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. Its 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 to 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.