A Spry 100

Iconic Detroit Athletic Club building marks its centennial


Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Athletic Club

Of the Motor City’s many cultural icons, the Detroit Athletic Club on Madison Avenue certainly ranks near the top. While the club itself was founded in 1887, the Albert Kahn-designed building was dedicated in April 1915. 

“Athletic” may be in DAC’s title, but “automotive” was a driving force. When the clubhouse opened in 1915, the world’s top 10 car builders — including Ford, Dodge, Maxwell, and Studebaker — all had DAC connections. 

DAC members are still well connected — lunchtime patrons are a “Who’s Who” of Detroit’s movers and shakers. The club also has an expansive private art collection, overnight rooms for members and guests, banquet facilities, and more.

The DAC does have an athletic bent. Facilities include a pool, a basketball court, a running track, and an eight-lane bowling center. 

A new $2 million sculpture project will be unveiled in April as part of the centennial celebration. And the new rooftop plaza, with its view of Comerica Park, should be ready by then, as well. 

Toast the DAC! Check out this month's drink recipe for “The Last Word” — a DAC-created cocktail. 

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