The CLEVELAND ARCHITECTURAL CLUB was first formed in the early 1880s, but on 7 Apr. 1887 it was reorganized as the AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS, CLEVELAND CHAPTER. In 1894 a second Cleveland Architectural Club was formed by the leading architects of the day, among them CHAS. F. SCHWEINFURTH, Frank A. Coburn, FRANK BARNUM, W. DOMINICK BENES, BENJAMIN HUBBELL, Geo. Steffens, and Herman Dercum. New city, county, and federal buildings were being planned at that time, and one of the club's first and most important activities was to organize a competition for a "grouping of Cleveland public buildings." This action was a direct impetus for the historic Group Plan of 1903. The club then arranged important annual exhibitions of architectural drawings and photographs from firms around the country beginning in 1896, although there were no exhibitions in 1898-99. In 1899 the club was one of 4 to join an Assn. of Technical Clubs, organized by the Civil Engineers' Club and maintaining offices and a library in the ARCADE. Later in the same year, the club became a member of the Architectural League of America, an association of architectural societies from 16 cities. In 1908 the members of the technical clubs formed the CLEVELAND ENGINEERING SOCIETY, whose members included all branches of the engineering, architectural, and scientific professions. Toward the end of World War I, the second Cleveland Architectural Club went out of existence.

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