Kansas City Club

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The Kansas City Club
TypePrivate club
FoundedKansas City, Missouri, 1882
HeadquartersKansas City, Missouri
Websitewww.thekansascityclub.org
 
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The Kansas City Club
TypePrivate club
FoundedKansas City, Missouri, 1882
HeadquartersKansas City, Missouri
Websitewww.thekansascityclub.org

The Kansas City Club, founded in 1882 and located in the Library District of Downtown Kansas City, Missouri, USA, is the oldest existing gentlemen's club in Missouri. The Club began admitting women members in 1975. Along with the River Club on nearby Quality Hill, it is one of two surviving private city clubs on the Missouri side of Kansas City. Notable members have included Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Omar Bradley, and political boss Tom Pendergast.

Contents

Clubhouse

The Kansas City Club's main entrance on Baltimore Avenue

The club is located at 918 Baltimore Avenue, the former home of the University Club from 1922 to 2001 (see below), at the corner of Ninth Street across from New York Life Building. The three-story clubhouse contains a dining room, a pub, a library, a cigar stand, banquet and meeting facilities, and full-service athletic facilities.[1] The athletic facilities include a trainer, a masseuse, squash courts, a racquetball court, and wet and dry saunas.[1] Along with the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Pembroke Hill School, it is one of only three locations in Kansas City with squash facilities.[2]

History

In the period after the Civil War, most of Kansas City’s existing social clubs were pro-Confederate.[3] A group of progressive businessmen, professionals, and industrialists, including Edward H. Allen, Alden J. Blethen, Thomas B. Bullene, Leander J. Talbott, William Warner, and Robert T. Van Horn, decided to provide an alternative, and organized the Kansas City Club on November 10, 1882.[3] Initially, the club met at Kersey Coates's hotel on Quality Hill.[3] In 1888, the club moved into its first clubhouse, a brick building at the corner of Twelfth and Wyandotte Streets.[3]

Clubhouse, 1922-2001

In 1922, having absorbed several other clubs, and with a membership of more than 600, the club built a 14-story beaux arts clubhouse (the Kansas City Club Building) at the corner of Thirteenth Street and Baltimore Avenue.[3] The clubhouse included a large dining room, several bars, private meeting rooms, a banquet hall, athletic facilities, an indoor pool, six floors of guestrooms, an indoor pool, and a rooftop terrace.[3] The club quickly grew and entered into reciprocal arrangements with many other prominent clubs worldwide.[3] Membership was opened to women in 1977.[3]

In 1987, the club had 2,180 members.[4] By 2001, however, membership had dwindled to less than 900.[4] The club blamed the drop in membership on the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which made club dues non-deductible, as well as changes in culture that made young professionals less apt to join clubs.[5] The clubhouse also needed upgrades to its facilities that cost between $5 million and $10 million.[4]

Finally, effective July 31, 2001, the club agreed to merge with the University Club, a private club at the corner of Ninth Street and Baltimore Avenue, and purchase the University Club's facilities, which were smaller and cost only $1 million to upgrade.[4] The merger also infused the Kansas City Club with the University Club's membership of 200.[4] In 2002, a developer bought the Kansas City Club's 1922 building and turned it into loft apartments and a banquet hall, renaming it the Clubhouse on Baltimore.[6]

Notable members

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 39°06′11″N 94°35′04″W / 39.102931°N 94.584405°W / 39.102931; -94.584405