GPHS Moorings Newsletters - page 43

A History of the Neighborhood Club
social needs of the permanent residents of the community which
included health, education, family welfare and recreation.The
original organization meeting was held at the Detroit Country
Club with a board of twenty-four women who elected the
following officers: President, Mrs. R. A. Alger Jr.; Secretary,
Miss Florence Pond; and Treasurer, Mrs.W. Howie Muir; and
a house was rented on Rivard Boulevard.The physical facilities
progressed with the growth of the community and the
Neighborhood Club moved to a building and small gymnasium
on Oak Street, now known as Muir Road, and from there to
the present location of eight acres donated by Mr. D. M. Ferry.
By a popular donation drive in 1927, $150,000 was raised for
the present building which is now valued at $400,000.The
athletic field consists of a football field, three softball
diamonds, two hardball diamonds, children’s playground
and six tennis courts.
The building, erected in 1928, was a
two story brick construction approximately
100' by 100', which consisted of a 60' by 90'
gymnasium, with a stage 31' by 20'; kitchen,
which could serve into the gym and dining
room; games room, adult lounge, welfare
office, social service office, Director’s
office, boys and girls Worker’s offices and
men’s and women’s lavatories all on the
first floor.The basement had a janitors
room, boiler room, boy’s and girl’s locker
and shower rooms, storage rooms and
two handcraft rooms.The second floor
consisted of an assembly room, approxi-
mately 50' by 50', two club rooms, a library,
and a worker’s office.
The first Director of the Club was Mr. George Elworthy
whose guidance was enjoyed from 1919 until his retirement in
1961. Mr. Edward Krattli became Executive Director of the
club after Mr. Elworthy’s retirement.
On June 21, 1962, it was necessary to close the Neighborhood
Club. After extensive study by consultant engineers and a notice
from the insurance company that the liability protection could
no longer cover activities in the building, the Neighborhood
Board deemed it best to study the matter before making any
necessary repairs.The Neighborhood Club was temporarily
situated at 710 Notre Dame Ave., Grosse Pointe.
After three years of consideration and exploration of the
best way to carry out the original terms of the Charter, the
Neighborhood Club Board voted to turn over the property to
the Grosse Pointe Board of Education for use as a Community
Recreational Center.
On November 29, 1966, the Neighborhood Club broke
ground for their new building which opened in December 1967.
Funds for it came largely from the sale of the property across the
street.The building consisted of a lobby, three offices, and two
lounges, 40' x 60', which were equipped with pool and ping-pong
tables, games,T. V., snack bar and lounge furniture.This facility
was enjoyed by the community for 44 years.
As Grosse Pointe grew so did the needs of the Neighborhood
Club. After many meetings and discussions it was decided that
a new facility was to be built on the same grounds. So, on the
morning of September 17, 2011, Grosse Pointers woke up to the
demolition of the Neighborhood Club’s second building in its
100-year history.
The Neighborhood Club administrative offices have been
moved to 240 Chalfonte in Grosse Pointe Farms until the new
facility is finished.The scheduled time of completion is hoped to
be January of 2013. “We should have a new and updated render-
ing of this facility on our website very shortly,” said Executive
Director Stuart Alderman.This impressive building will have
48,000 square feet and three levels.
“The existing offices and Nursery School will return but we
will have many new offerings for the community,” continued
Alderman. “There will be a state of the art indoor five lane pool,
a fitness room, an aerobics room, and gymnasium.The basement
will have a sports room for local teams as well as traveling teams.
They’ll have strength and conditioning machines with TVs in
the room. Fitness classes, personal trainers and indoor swimming
lessons will be available to the public.”
“Beaumont Hospital will be leasing 25 percent of space
from the Neighborhood Club, but the building is owned by the
Neighborhood Club,” said Alderman. “Now we can go in a
new direction.We want this to be the main focal point in the
community.There is going to be something for everyone here.”
The Society for Older Citizens (SOC) is relocating. Look for
an article on SOC and the history of the Thrift shop in the next
issue of the
Continued from cover
The second Neighborhood Club
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