For 110 years the Jonathan Club has been an important part of the fabric of Downtown Los Angeles and for 75 years the Club has enjoyed a prestigious second home on the beach of Santa Monica. Yet even its own members have not known its history, because a full account had never been researched and told in all this time. This book was prepared for the members of the Club, and for the visitors to its facilities. The Jonathan Club guards its privacy, yet many guests at its Town and Beach Club want to know more about the distinguished structures and about the institution that calls them home.
The Club’s birthplace was in the center of Downtown Los Angeles in the late 19th century, South Spring Street. It moved to elegant quarters on the top two floors of Henry Huntington’s prestigious Pacific Electric Building in 1905 and stayed there “at the top of Los Angeles society for two decades.” During most of this time Henry Huntington was the Club’s president and Mr. Huntington lived in a suite of rooms within The Jonathan Club.
In 1925, the Club built its own clubhouse, the 13-story Town Club that serves as its downtown headquarters today. This ornate Italian Renaissance building was designed by the distinguished hotel architects of the 1920s, Schultze and Weaver, who engaged a leading Italian artisan, Giovanni Battista Smeraldi, to paint the ceilings of its major public rooms.
In 1930 The Jonathan Club bought a large facility on the Santa Monica beach and in 1935 moved into its present beach clubhouse. The Jonathan Club remains a veritable legend in Southern California today filling a need for a private social organization with town and beach facilities in Greater Los Angeles. It is virtually unique among major American private clubs in boasting downtown and seaside clubhouses. Its overnight rooms and other amenities at both of its facilities are among the most elegant of those of any private club in America.