Detroit Athletic Club: Take a Look Inside

Detroit Athletic Club exterior entrance

Have you ever wondered how the inside of the Detroit Athletic Club looks? From the building’s imposing outside and the member only atmosphere, one does wonder what goes on inside the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC). I was able to find out on a tour with The Detroit Shoppe. Here is an inside view of the private social and athletic club of Detroit.

Detroit Athletic Club exterior entrance

Detroit Athletic Club Lobby

Detroit Athletic Club lobby

Once you walk inside the DAC you are immediately impressed with the decor and how elegant everything is. This is definitely not the typical gym. The Detroit Athletic Club does have full-service athletic facilities and swimming pools, but also restaurants, ballrooms, boardrooms, and guest rooms. The DAC was founded in 1887 and opened this building in 1915. The club’s mission was to support amateur athletics. It has developed into a thriving club today where the mission has also evolved into “To create life-enriching experiences that build meaningful relationships, foster personal and professional growth, celebrate culture in the heart of Detroit.”


Detroit Athletic Club exercise roomInside the Detroit Athletic Club Bowling AlleyBesides the traditional exercise room filled with equipment, the club also has a basketball court, swimming pool, and bowling alley. These facilities are available for all members. If you are interested, you can contact the Membership Director on the website. Some of the most famous members are Ty Cobb, Henry Ford, John Delorean, and Roger Penske.

Over the years, the DAC has trained several Olympic Champions. One, in particular, Margaret Woodbridge, won a swimming gold medal in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. She is also a world-record holder and an inductee into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Two more Olympians sponsored by DAC did very well in the 1956 Olympics; springboard divers, Jeanne Sturnyo (won silver) and Barbara Gilders-Dudeck (came in 4th place).Margaret Woodbridge Presley


Detroit Athletic Club BoardroomOn this tour, we were able to see the big boardroom. You can imagine the deals that are made in this room. Back in 1913, when the club just opened the DAC members controlled 90% of the auto production in the world. They also claim that Northwest Airlines and the famed Ford Mustang were conceived within these walls.  With all the high-level powerful members I wouldn’t doubt it.

Views of Comerica Park and Detroit

Comerica Park view from Detroit Athletic Clubcity skyline view from Detroit Athletic ClubOne of the highlights of this tour and this club is the prime view of Comerica Park from their balcony. I can only imagine watching the game from atop this building in the summer listening to the crack of the bat and the crowds cheering for the Detroit Tigers. This could almost be worth the price of the club’s membership for this kind of access to America’s pastime. In addition, there are some great Detroit city skyline views that you can capture from the DAC.

More Details

If you are among the many young millennials moving into Detroit and want a place to work out, check out the Detroit Athletic Club website for more information about the club and membership. And if you aren’t sure about it, you can always pin this for later.


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Further Reading

If you are coming to the Detroit area of Michigan for a visit, check out these posts for more travel inspiration:

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