Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) is a privately-owned athletic club and social club located in Los Angeles, California, US. It was founded in 1880. The club is now famous as the home of the John R. Wooden award given to the most outstanding men’s and women’s basketball players of the year.History
The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) was founded on September 8th on 1880. The end of the first month of operation, the club had enlisted 60 members. It also had the ability to rent its first facility that included two halls at Stearns Hall , which is located on Los Angeles Street in downtown Los Angeles. A 19th Century history indicates that the club had the dual purposes of “providing its members with the means of physical development” as well as “the advantages of a gentlemen’s club.
The club moved for its first time , in the year 1881. It moved to more comfortable quarters in the Downey Block, before moving back a few years later to a larger house in the Stowell Block. A fire in 1893 forced moving to temporary quarters in the Workman Block, next door to the original Stowell Block location. The membership of this new location quickly surpassed 400 members, prompting the building of the club’s official building, a four-story structure with a huge gymnasium that was located on the third floor, which was enlarged. It was located on the east end of Spring Street between 5th and 6th. The architects were McCarthy & Mendel.
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The club served as a venue for athletic training, gymnastics as well as team sports, such as the organization of a civil football team which played the first intercity game with San Francisco in January 1892. The first two decades of existence the club also built an outdoor park, which included an athletic track, a path for cycling along with a baseball pitch tennis court, as well as croquet courts. They also offered rooms to facilitate social interaction, including an enormous reading room along with designated places for billiards and playing cards.
In 1912, it was moved into its new Los Angeles Athletic Club Building located at 431 West Seventh Street in Downtown Los Angeles. The 12-story Beaux-Arts model clubhouse was created for the LAAC of John Parkinson and George Bergstrom, and is classified as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. The clubhouse is famous for being the first structure in Southern California to have an interior pool constructed on an upper floor.
Because of its role in the growth and development and development of Los Angeles, the LAAC achieved significant success in its first 60 years with membership reflecting its position in Los Angeles society and early Hollywood culture. At its peak, the LAAC established a variety of other institutions, including the California Yacht Club (1922) and the Riviera Country Club (1926). These two organizations are now separate entities.
The club was faced with significant financial problems due to World War II and the later growth of suburbs.
The athletes of the LAAC have earned numerous medals in the Summer Olympics, with a notable number at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympiad. Total Olympic medal tally for the LAAC is 97 , including 47 gold.