California Club

538 S. Flower

Nestled among a thicket of corporate towers, this eight story building, rich in the classical Beaux Arts tradition, is the California Club (members only). Completed in 1929-30, the building was designed by architect Robert D. Farquhar. A classic downtown men's club, powerful businessmen have met here for many years.

The California Club had several previous locations. According to the LA Times (November 8, 1988, p. B3) at its 2nd and Spring location around the turn of the century, "Stumbling members enjoyed overstuffed library chairs, provided as much for snoozing as for reading," and at later location overlooking Pershing Square, "Harmless tomfoolery was a regular feature at the club....members used sugar cubes as golf tees, blasting golf balls out the windows into the park below." Snoozing and tomfoolery at this exclusive club, however, were not available to Blacks, women, and Jews, among others, until the late 1980s.

PHOTO: C. Roseman