The History Corner
by David Mostardi, Club Historian
Once Upon A Hillside: 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago
What To Do About The Clubhouse? – By 1921, the Hillside Club had evidently already outgrown the clubhouse, constructed just fifteen years previously by Bernard Maybeck. In late April, the Board of Directors presented six choices of building plans, to be voted on by the membership: 1) build new housekeeper’s quarters, add a reception room south of the clubhouse, reduce the number of pillars in the main hall, lay a hardwood floor, estimated to cost $10,000; 2) the same but no reception room, enlarge the main hall by splitting the building in half and moving the south half twenty feet further south, estimated to cost $15,000; 3) build an auditorium behind the current hall, remodel to provide reception room and new housekeeper’s quarters, estimated to cost $20,000; 4) purchase a new site and move the existing clubhouse there, use it as a reception hall while a larger auditorium is built, estimated to cost $25-30,000; 5) make no changes and reduce the membership limit if necessary, provide only such new housekeeper’s quarters as are absolutely necessary, estimated to cost $3-4,000; 6) sell the present property as is, purchase a new site and erect a new clubhouse.
The Special Finance Committee recommended Proposal #6, and also laid out plans for second mortgage notes to raise funds. However, Proposal #1 won in a landslide. The Building Committee continued to work hard and presented blueprints later in the year. The debate over expansion was eventually rendered moot two years later when the clubhouse was destroyed in the Berkeley Fire of September 1923. The club got to erect a new clubhouse after all.
Fireside Meeting: For much of the Club’s history, the May Fireside was a members-only meeting designed to hear reports from the standing committees. In 1946, there were fifteen committees: Assemblies, Building, Civic Affairs, Courtesy, Decoration, Dramatic Activities, Grounds, House, International Relations, Music, Refreshments, Rentals, Stage, Stage Costumes, and War Service.
Work Day: Once again we will all pitch in to do the many things needed to put the clubhouse and grounds in shape for another year. You can whistle while you work, or converse with the persons nearby and you’ll find an air of sociability and willingness to help which will bring a glow of satisfaction to all at the end of the day. The club will furnish coffee for luncheon, and coffee and a hot casserole dish for dinner about 5pm. Bring your own food to supplement this, gauged to your appetite.
Spring Tour: Fort Bragg Safari. All is set for the annual weekend tour. We start loading the buses at 8:45, and will leave at 9am SHARP.
Assembly Dinner Dance: This will be the last Assembly of the Season. The dinner charge will be $7 per couple, plus $6 for non-subscribers for the dancing.
Spring Reception: This is the evening when we pause to honor the outgoing Board Members and Officers, and also our new Club members. A lively and interesting program is planned.
Work Day: As usual our Club House and its furnishings have suffered wear and tear which we will endeavor to men and repair. Heavy work should be completed by 5pm to allow time to go home and return for dinner at 6pm. Following dinner there may be a bit of community singing (not sinning) and then the Extravaganza Chorus and Principals will refresh our memories of the Extravaganza songs. Since the Club is reserved for a large wedding on the day following, all jobs should be planned and organized to be completed early.
The Club’s archive of printed monthly newsletters ended with the May 1994 issue. If you know of a source for any newsletters between 1994 and the Club’s renaissance in the early 2000s, your historian would love to hear about it!