Grosse Pointe Yacht Club
|Type||Private Yacht Club|
N 42° 26' 05" W 82° 52' 20"Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, USA
|Area served||Metro Detroit|
|Services||Dining, Yachting, Sailing, Swimming, Bowling, Tennis, Paddle Tennis, Children's Day Camp|
The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club is a private marina and sailing club founded in 1914 and located on the shore of Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. It was founded in 1914 through the efforts of a group of 25 sailing and iceboating enthusiasts. Grosse Pointe Yacht Club is a member of the Detroit Regional Yacht-racing Association (DRYA).
The club is prominently visible and a well-known landmark along the shoreline of the lake north of Detroit.
A Brief History
The 18th century Italian Renaissance-style clubhouse was designed by Boston architect Guy Lowell. Guy Lowell was commissioned in the 1920s to design the clubhouse. Tragically, Lowell died at sea before his plans were fully developed, but his concept of an 18th-century Italian renaissance building combining sun-washed stucco walls and terra cotta tile, topped by a 187-foot steeple, stands as a spectacular monument to his creative genius. The 187-ft bell tower also serves as a navigational aid for boaters on the lake. The clubhouse officially opened amid great fanfare on July 4, 1929 virtually on the eve of the great depression. It was an ironic beginning to say the least. Fortunately, the club was able to survive the depression and the world war that followed. The prosperous latter half of the 20th century saw a series of upgrades and enhancements to the premises that included an expanded kitchen, updated dining rooms, new recreational facilities, a modernized harbor, and a spectacular swimming pool.
In 1997, the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club was accorded the ultimate honor of being named the "Number One Yacht Club in America" in a national survey of professional club managers. The club has proudly re-earned that honor ever since then.
Upon entering the club, members stroll the length of a 50-foot foyer, arriving to an impressive rotunda, which leads to points throughout the club. Standing watch is the Wheeler Williams' bronze sculpture Rhythm of the Waves. Amenities of the club, besides the marina itself, include a bowling alley open from September until May, an olympic sized pool, several clay tennis courts, two lighted paddle tennis courts and a sailing center with a large fleet of club owned sail boats.
The club has 3 restaurants: The Main Dining Room, The Spinnaker Room, and the Binnacle Room which overlooks Lake St. Clair. The main ballroom can serve food as well. The club also has four bars, three of which are located in the Spinnaker, Binnacle, the Tower Pub. The Gazebo bar, only open in the summer, is located outside and overlooks the pool deck and harbor. Other rooms in the club include the Lakeshore room, the Venetian room, the fo'c'sle, and the Wine Cellar (all popular areas for private dinners and business meetings). A popular eating spot in the summer is the outdoor Binnacle Terrace, which combines the club's fine dining with casual enjoyment. Also, the Harborside Grill offers quick snacks or casual dining next to the pool deck.
The club facilities have been updated and modernized several times. The harbor has been enlarged and improved as membership quadrupled. However, the architectural integrity of Lowell's original design and the spectacular view of Lake St. Clair have been meticulously maintained. A view of the club is shown as a background to the rolling credits at the end of the movie Gran Torino (2008) starring Clint Eastwood.
References and further reading
- Socia, Madeleine and Suzie Berschback (2001). Grosse Pointe: 1890 - 1930 (Images of America). Arcadia. ISBN 0-7385-0840-3.
- Fisher, Dale (2003). Building Michigan: A Tribute to Michigan's Construction Industry. Grass Lake, MI: Eyry of the Eagle Publishing. ISBN 1-891143-24-7.