April 2008 Issue
Urban Legends - Toledo Club
Vibrant museums, old neighborhoods and architectural treasures –– a tour of Toledo’s historic highlights shows you the Glass City’s fascinating character and culture.
Started as an organization for the city’s business leaders, the Toledo Club took up residence in its uptown clubhouse on the corner of 14th Street and Madison Avenue 93 years ago this June. While the facility remains a private club, its Georgian Revival-style architecture and the who’s who of
local and national history (including six U.S. presidents) it has hosted make it a treasured part of Toledo’s past.
Carved limestone arches and Parthenon-like columns mark the entrance along the building’s burnt sienna brick exterior, rolling out an august welcome for members and their guests that continues inside. The club has done an impressive job of retaining the dignified effect of its interior, and its richly colored oak paneling, high ceilings, crystal chandeliers and other details still speak of a time when social clubs were the measure of the city’s elite. The club’s Red Room, so named for the rich scarlet hue of the carpeting and draperies that accent its Italian Renaissance Revival style, houses a sparkling collection of Libbey glass as well as nearly life-size paintings of feminine characters by artist Louis Bemsra. “We’re extremely proud of our art collection,” says general manager Mike Searle.
The building is not open for tours, but plays host to a handful of events throughout the year that gives the curious a chance to peek inside.
235 14th St., Toledo, 419/243-2200. www.toledoclub.org