The Detroit Club was founded in 1882 by Samuel Douglas and consisted of ten members. Originally, the Club used various rented spaces to meet. After a few years, however, the number of members increased exponentially a clubhouse was deemed necessary to accommodate the growing number of Club shareholders. In 1883, architect Wilson Eyre in was hired to design the new club house. In 1891 the club house was completed at the corner of Cass and Fort Streets. Built with the signature brick and stone style of Romanesque Revival, the Detroit Club Building would serve as the nucleus of the social club for more than a hundred years. With four floors, spaces for membership dining and leisure, separate areas for wives of club members, and private hotel rooms for guests and members, the Detroit Club was designed to maximize the comfort of members and guests. As was the case for staff members, women guests and relatives of male members were not allowed to enter through the front entrance until 1972. The Detroit Club Building was listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
From the Virtual Motor City Collection of the Wayne State University Walter P. Reuther Library
The application for the U.S. National Register of Historic Places states:
"Featuring a modified H-shape floor plan, the Detroit Club measures approximately 130' x 70'. The club's interior is equally refined in the use of materials and decoration. A large, off-centered staircase serves as the main thoroughfare to the four levels, while service stairs are located near both end bays. On each level, a central hall has a north I south orientation with a series of rooms on each side. Primary public spaces, such as sitting and dining rooms, are currently located in the end bays, especially the south end bay, and the west side of the building. Service areas are located at the east side of the building, including a coat-check room, kitchens, and restrooms. In most of the clubhouse, wood floors are covered with wall-to-wall carpeting, with the exception ofthe men's grill, bar and grill, restrooms, and service areas. Woodwork was created in white oak and black walnut. While some original stenciling remains on ceilings, some of the interior plaster walls originally were covered with rich colors and decorative paint treatments, such as frescoes.
Overall, the club's current floor plan still follows Wilson Eyre's design for the Detroit Club. While the primary public interior spaces are largely unchanged, many of the secondary rooms have been somewhat modified or reconfigured. Nevertheless, like the exterior, the interior has retained a large measure of its historic integrity, including many of the details, fixtures, and furnishings."