As the City of Angels oldest private club, the Los Angeles Athletic Club has seen its fair share of high-profile Angelenos pass through its doors. Founded in 1880, the LAAC membership has had names like Lankershim, Chandler, Dockweiler, Doheny, O’Melveny, and Slauson (all integral people who developed the burgeoning LA skyline and have either major streets or even beaches named after them). During the Golden Age of Hollywood, stars such as Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Harold Lloyd, Johnny Weissmuller, and even Charlie Chaplin found restbit at the club.
With such a vaunted history and thousands of members coming in and out of the club for exercise, the LAAC was looking a bit drab for a long while. Luckily for all of us, I am also a member, the LAAC has just completed a $10 million dollar renovation. Designed by Los Angeles-based SRK Architects and executed by general contractor Phoenix Construction & Management, the project represents a major upgrade in the club’s 138-year history and focuses on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the 12-story building, which encompasses athletic, social, and meeting spaces, along with three floors of hotel rooms. By year’s end, the club will be ready to unveil the final round of renovations to the sixth floor, including a unisex spa area and treatment rooms with a multi-purpose salt room that offers yoga, meditation and halo therapy. There will also be a barber shop, nail salon and the historic poolside lounge and dining area re-imagined as the Plunge Cafe.
“The Los Angeles Athletic Club has long been a place where members can flex their athletic and social skills. Our goal is to welcome the next generation to this storied institution, which has been owned and managed by five generations of our family,” says LAAC general manager Steve Hathaway. “In planning these renovations, we toured many of the top private athletic clubs in the country and developed our concept to provide the most sought-after features to our members.” What was encompassed in this latest rework of the club included world-class women’s locker rooms, the surfer-inspired Kahuna Room, five meetings rooms and The Wave, an intersectional community dedicated to professional and personal development of women. After touring the facilities, I can safely say that the LAAC is perfectly positioned to remain an LA institution for another hundred years!