Jonathan Club

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The Jonathan Club is a private social club at two California locations—one in Downtown Los Angeles on South Figueroa Street and the other on the beach in Santa Monica. The club was included on the Platinum Club list of John Sibbald Associates in 2012 as one of the top five city clubs in the United States.[1]


The club was at one time believed to be named after Jonathan Trumbull, advisor to George Washington. But historical evidence states that the club was named after Brother Jonathan, the caricature predecessor to Uncle Sam. According to an undated but recent publication of the club titled Jonathan: A Very Special Club, the organization was founded in September 1895 by a group of men who had been active in a Los Angeles marching society. There is also evidence that the club's origin was tied to a group of Los Angeles Republicans who supported William McKinley's presidential campaign.[citation needed]


Membership in the club is by invitation. For most of its history, the club admitted only white men, but since 1987 it has also admitted women and minorities.[2]


In 1905, the club was headquartered in the monumental new Pacific Electric Building at 610 South Main Street, which at that time was the transportation hub for Southern California. According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, "the top three floors of the building housed the exclusive and lavishly adorned Jonathan Club, one of the city’s most exclusive private clubs."[citation needed]

In 1924 a contract was let for what Southwest Builder magazine called a "magnificent new home" for the club—its present brick-faced structure at 545 S. Figueroa Street, one block west of the Los Angeles Central Library.[3]

Since 1927, the club has had a beach location in Santa Monica, in a building designed by architect Gene Verge, Sr.[4]

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Sibbald Associates
  2. ^ Associated Press (May 6, 1988). "California High Court Rules Against Club on Membership". New York Times. 
  3. ^ Southwest Builder (July 11, 1924) page 47
  4. ^ The City of Beverly Hills: Historic Resources Inventory (1985-1986)

External links[edit]