In the early 60s, a number of prominent business and civic leaders were working to turn around a decaying City as businesses and residents moved to the suburbs. They were unable to meet over lunch in private because they were of different faiths. At the time, all private clubs in Baltimore were segregated.
These community leaders vowed to create a private club open to the City’s most influential and forward-thinking business individuals,
regardless of their religion, race, or nationality.
Chartered in 1962, The Center Club opened its doors at the top of One Charles Center in 1963.
The first Club President was Clarence Miles, founder of Miles and Stockbridge.
In the last 55 years, the Center Club transformed from a luncheon club for top-level executives running a relatively small number of traditional large corporations,
to a Club whose members are influential men and women from all sizes of industry and enterprise from around the state of Maryland.
The Center Club is chartered by seven members
of the Greater Baltimore Committee, and prepares
to move into renowned modernist architect
Mies van der Rohe's One Charles Center'
The Club elects its first African American members,
Judge Robert B. Watts and Morgan State College
President Martin Jenkins. It would be 3 years
before Baltimore City Council bans racial discrimination
in housing and employment throughout the City.
News American "Man About Town" columnist Seymour Kopf reports from The Center Club: "The most prominent Baltimoreans
belong to The Center Club - captains of industry, the very wealthy and influential, and people who are leaders in the commercial,
political, and cultural life of Baltimore."
Ruth Shaw, local fashion designer
and business owner, sues The Center Club
for being barred the Main Dining Room during lunch.
She loses the case due to private clubs having
the ability to write their own rules. (copyright Baltimore Sun)
The Center Club's bylaws no longer mention segregating
women to a separate dining room at lunch. "The women
members in those days were looking for an even playing field
in the business world. We didn't want to be fighting men for the check, for instance, when we hosted a lunch."
The Center Club moves from Charles Street
to 100 Light Street, its home for the past 31 years.
Phyllis Brotman becomes The Center Club's
eighth President - and the Club's
first female President.
(click picture to read the article)
The Center Club undergoes a $2.7 Million
renovation of the 15th floor. Baltimore Style
Magazine covers the updated designs in a multi-page spread.
The Center Club celebrates its 50th anniversary &
surpasses 2,012 active members.
The Orioles Pub at The Center Club opens after
a generous gift from Baltimore Orioles'
owner Peter Angelos.