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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND ATHLETIC CLUB

CLEVELAND ATHLETIC CLUB

The CLEVELAND ATHLETIC CLUB, a private club catering to individuals interested in athletics, was established on 1 Feb. 1908. It was the second club in the city to bear the name. An earlier Cleveland Athletic Club established headquarters at 927 Euclid Ave. in 1886 and in 1891 moved to a new clubhouse and gymnasium located at 560 Euclid. It sponsored boxing matches, fielded a baseball team, and was active in the bicycling fad of the 1890s. It had over 500 members in 1892 and was sponsoring a duplicate whist team in 1895, but little is known of its history after that time. The second Cleveland Athletic Club does not appear to be directly descended from the first. Incorporated by a group of prominent Clevelanders interested in a gentlemen's downtown sports club, including CHAS. OTIS, WALTER C. BAKER, and ELBERT H. BAKER, it initially occupied space on the top floor of the New England Bank Bldg. at E. 6th St. and Euclid. Wm. Parmalee Murray, a banker and ore company executive, served as the first president. In 1910 the club built its own building at 1118 Euclid Ave., a 15-story structure in which it leased the top 10 floors for a period of 98 years. In 1922, Johnny Weismueller (later Tarzan) set a world record for the 150-yard backstroke in the club's pool. The club's offerings include swimming, bowling, billiards, a card room, dining room, and 12 overnight guest rooms. In August 1997, CAC's board of directors formed an alliance with a small local investment group to begin a major restoration project. As of 2002, the project has brought 4 million dollars in improvements, renovations, and restorations to the CAC, along with a revitalization of Club activities, social events, programs, and membership. The Cleveland Athletic Club closed in 2007.


Cleveland Athletic Club 75th Anniversary Commemorative Yearbook, (1983).