100 year anniversary of our Clubhouse at 2047 Mansfield

The University Club of Montreal celebrated its 100 years of existence in 2007 with the publication of the Club’s history book and a two-night gala. It is now time for the Clubhouse to blow out the candles.

A centennial celebration is not just a birthday, but a remembering of the history of the city in which the building was erected and of the members who occupy it. The Club is a generational delegation and a cultural heritage for its members. For many, it represents a second home and unforgettable memories. For others, a classy and comfortable place where they have drinks and dinner with friends time and time again. In short, this celebration is heart-felt, as much for our members as our long-time staff, who all flourished in the whim of the building.   
It would be bad luck to speak of the Clubhouse without mentioning its forefather and architect, Professor Percy Erskine Nobbs, famous for the construction of several buildings that surround McGill University and for his careful choosing of each building’s location. 
Born in 1875 in Edinburg, Nobbs arrived in Montreal in 1903, at 28 years old, to take on the role of manager of the McGill School of Architecture. His first order of business was to design a club for the McGill Student Association, on Sherbrooke Street. As a result, he obtained several contracts and designed the buildings according to his motto: "build for utility as much as for design". 

Before Percy Nobbs was commissioned the building on Mansfield Street, the Club was located in private residences, the first being the Summer residence, on the north-west corner of Dorchester Boulevard and St. Monique street. Sold in October 1911, the Summer residence was later absorbed into the Place Ville Marie complex.

In 1912, the Club acquired its actual location, on the East side of Mansfield Street. Percy Nobbs was chosen for the conception of the Clubhouse, mainly because of his style, both prestigious and warm, which corresponded with the vision members had of the Club. The Clubhouse was inspired by Georgian row houses of London of the early 1800s. The construction was finalized in 18 months and the building, as we know it today, opened its doors on december 17th, 1913.

The Club was classified as a historical monument of Quebec in September 1986. Its journey, exquisite appearance and excellent state of preservation make it a Canadian historical jewel. Oh the laughs and quips between its walls! The Hall Porter’s smile at the front desk, the graceful curve of the staircase leading up to the first floor, the dimly lit rooms, and the sound of the kitchen staff hard at work; all of these things would not be imaginable in any other location. The Clubhouse will forever be a part of the life of its members.

On December 17th, 2013, the Club will celebrate 100 years of existence of the Clubhouse. This is one more step in its long life littered with events, ups and downs, great memories and friendships. A page in history will soon be turned, but the story continues.

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