Missouri Athletic Club
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|Founded||St. Louis, Missouri, 1903|
|Headquarters||St. Louis, Missouri|
The Missouri Athletic Club (often referred to as the MAC), founded in 1903, is a private city and athletic club with two locations. The Downtown Clubhouse is in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri, USA and the West Clubhouse is located in St. Louis County a suburb of Town and Country.
The MAC awards the annual Hermann Trophy, the highest award in American college soccer, and the Jack Buck Award (in recognition of enthusiastic and dedicated support of sports in the city of St. Louis). Notable members have included President Harry S. Truman, Stan Musial, and Alan Shepard. The American Legion was organized there in 1919.
The Missouri Athletic Club opened its doors on Sept. 13, 1903. The original Clubhouse was located in the Boatman's Bank Building at 4th Street and Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis. The catalyst for establishing the Club was Charles Henry Genslinger who had successfully opened clubs in New Orleans and New York prior.
A fire destroyed the original clubhouse in March 1914. Within two weeks after the fire, a committee was appointed to design and erect a new and more elaborate clubhouse on the same location. A special committee funded the project with bonds sold to prominent St. Louis businessmen like August A. Busch.
The present-day Downtown Clubhouse opened its doors on March 1, 1916 with a gala celebration attended by 5,000 people. The new clubhouse, a 10-story facility, was grander than the original. The clubhouse was designed by William B. Ittner and contains two restaurants, a ballroom, a barber shop, numerous private meeting rooms, a reading room, a billiard parlor, a rooftop deck, more than 75 guest rooms, and full-service athletic facilities. The athletic facilities include weight training, a pro shop, whirlpools, tanning beds, saunas, trainers, pros, a masseuse, squash courts, racquetball courts, and handball courts.
In 1995, the Missouri Athletic Club purchased the Town and Country Racquet Club, which was built in 1975, and opened it as the MAC's West Clubhouse on June 16, 1995. The Missouri Athletic Club has renovated and expanded its West Clubhouse numerous times over the years. Some of the largest projects took place in 1998, 2004, and 2016. The sprawling West Clubhouse has more than 178,000 square feet of space. It features a 25-meter outdoor swim and dive pool, two restaurants and bars, private event spaces, eight indoor tennis courts, squash courts, racquetball courts, a basketball court and gymnasium, and a fitness center.
In 1903, during the lead-up to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, having organized amateur athletic and social clubs in New York City and New Orleans, entrepreneur Charles Henry Genslinger came to St. Louis and persuaded local prominent citizens to fund a similar club. Boatmen’s Bank donated a seven-story building at Fourth Street and Washington Avenue to the Club, which adopted “Missouri Athletic Club” as its name. More than 3,200 members enrolled prior to the Club’s opening in September 1903.
Immediately upon its founding, the MAC joined the Amateur Athletic Union, which allowed members to participate in the 1904 Summer Olympics, also held in St. Louis. As part of the AAU, the MAC formed basketball, swimming, track, baseball, boxing, wrestling, bowling, and billiards teams, which competed throughout the United States.
In 1914, the MAC's clubhouse was destroyed by a fire, which also killed 30 members, guests, and staff. The club decided to construct a new building in its place, which opened in 1916. This has been the clubhouse ever since. From 1916-1939, the MAC was renamed the Missouri Athletic Association.
In 1987, the MAC began awarding the Hermann Trophy to the United States's top male and female college soccer players. This is the highest player's award in college soccer, equivalent to the Heisman Trophy for college football.
In 1995, the MAC bought the Town and Country Racquet Club in West St. Louis County. After investing $2 million in upgrading the facilities, it reopened as the Missouri Athletic Club's West Clubhouse. The West Clubhouse was re-renovated for $8 million in 2003.
- Glendy B. Arnold, St. Louis judge
- Jack Buck, St. Louis Cardinals sportscaster
- Jimmy Dunn, American soccer player
- Gwynne Evans, American Olympic athlete
- Joseph Forshaw, Olympic marathon runner
- Augustus Goessling, American Olympic athlete
- Charles F. Haanel, American businessman and author
- Sidney Hatch, American Olympic athlete
- Charles Lindbergh, pioneer aviator
- John Meyers, American Olympic athlete
- Stan Musial, St. Louis Cardinals baseball player, Baseball Hall of Fame inductee
- William Orthwein, American Olympic athlete
- Marquard Schwarz, American Olympic athlete
- Alan Shepard, astronaut, first American in space
- Harry A. Slattery, United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior (1917–18), author of the Slattery Report
- Manfred Toeppen, American Olympic athlete
- Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States (1945-1953)
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, American Olympic athlete