History

Founded in 1882 and incorporated in 1889, The Racquet Club of Philadelphia continues to be one of the most prestigious private city clubs in North America. The Club started its life in a modest facility at 923 Walnut Street, but under the leadership of George D. Widener, The Racquet Club of Philadelphia’s clubhouse was designed and relocated to its current 16th street location by the famed architect, Horace Trumbauer. The design was a simple, yet elegant five story brick-and-marble structure in the newly fashionable Georgian Revival style. Historian Nathaniel Burt described the new 1907 Clubhouse as “by far the best appointed…of all Philadelphia clubs.” The clubhouse is one of the first reinforced concrete structures designed in Philadelphia, and also includes the first above grade swimming pool, designed by the noted bridge builders, Roebling Construction Company. The building’s red-brick, Georgian design, is evocative of historic Philadelphia, and the Clubhouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.