Milwaukee Athletic Club

The Milwaukee Athletic Club (often referred to as the MAC or MACWI), founded in 1882 and located in the East Town neighborhood of Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the oldest existing gentlemen's club in Wisconsin. Early in its history, it was an Olympic gold-medal-winning amateur athletic club. Notable members have included Senator Herb Kohl, Olympic legend George Poage, and early basketball star Christian Steinmetz.

The Milwaukee Athletic Club
Private club
FoundedMilwaukee, Wisconsin, 1882
HeadquartersMilwaukee, Wisconsin



The club is headquartered at 758 North Broadway, at the corner of East Mason Street. The twelve-story clubhouse designed by Armand Koch (son of Henry C. Koch) in 1917[1] contains two restaurants (including one on a rooftop deck), two cocktail lounges, a ballroom, a barber shop, child care facilities, a library, 20 private meeting rooms, 55 guestrooms, and full-service athletic facilities.[2] The athletic facilities include racquetball, squash, and basketball courts, a co-ed fitness studio, and private men's and women's athletics areas, each with its own swimming pool, steam room, sauna, and resistance and cardiovascular equipment.[2][3] On the club's facade is a noted limestone sculpture, "Diana," installed in 1954. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.


Eight young men founded the Milwaukee Athletic Club on September 18, 1882, for the express purpose of "developing of the bodily powers through gymnastic and other exercises."[2] Soon thereafter, the MAC joined the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU); members participated in several early Summer Olympics, including the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St. Louis, where its tug of war team won the gold medal.[4] As part of the AAU, the MAC formed basketball, swimming, track, baseball, and other teams, which competed throughout the United States.

The MAC was housed in nine different buildings before establishing its present clubhouse in 1917.[2] In that year the club constructed the 12-story (13?) building, designed by Armand Koch with its exterior in Neoclassical style, resembling a column with the bottom three stories (the column's base) sheathed in stone veneer, the middle stories plain brick, and the top two in stone veneer - the column's capital. Beneath the veneer is a steel skeleton.[5] In 1954 a renovation of the interior was designed by Eschweiler & Eschweiler, adding the Bali Room, the Men's Lounge, and the Elephant Room.[6]

Notable membersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Emporis - Milwaukee Athletic Club
  2. ^ a b c d Milwaukee Athletic Club (official site) - History Archived 2011-12-10 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Milwaukee Athletic Club (official site) - Athletics Archived 2012-08-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Oscar Olson". Sports Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Milwaukee Athletic Club". Architecture and History Inventory. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  6. ^ "Milwaukee Athletic Club". National or State Register. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2019-12-28.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°02′25.1″N 87°54′27.4″W / 43.040306°N 87.907611°W / 43.040306; -87.907611