Los Angeles Athletic Club Completes Phase Two of Multi-Million Dollar Renovation, Welcoming New Generation of Downtown Residents | Athletic Business

Los Angeles Athletic Club Completes Phase Two of Multi-Million Dollar Renovation, Welcoming New Generation of Downtown Residents

SOURCE: Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC)

On May 15, the historic club will unveil world-class women’s locker rooms, the surfer-inspired Kahuna Room, five meetings rooms and The Wave, an intersectional community dedicated to professional and personal development of women

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES—MAY 15, 2018: The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC), the City’s first private club, announces the completion of phase two of its highly-anticipated $10 million-dollar renovation. The Club is set to appeal to a new wave of downtown denizens by merging its rich history with a contemporary new look. On May 15, LAAC will unveil their world-class women's locker rooms as well as the surfer-inspired Kahuna Room, which will be home to The Wave, a new club offering unique networking opportunities to new and existing female members. LAAC is also debuting five new meeting rooms on the fourth floor by renowned interior designer Tracy Beckmann.

Designed by Los Angeles-based SRK Architects and executed by general contractor Phoenix Construction & Management, the project represents a major upgrade in the club’s 138-year history and focuses on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the 12-story building, which encompasses athletic, social, and meeting spaces, along with three floors of hotel rooms. By year’s end, the club will be ready to unveil the final round of renovations to the sixth floor, including a unisex spa area and treatment rooms with a multi-purpose salt room that offers yoga, meditation and halo therapy. There will also be a barber shop, nail salon and the historic poolside lounge and dining area re-imagined as the Plunge Cafe.

"The Los Angeles Athletic Club has long been a place where members can flex their athletic and social skills. Our goal is to welcome the next generation to this storied institution, which has been owned and managed by five generations of our family," says LAAC general manager Steve Hathaway. "In planning these renovations, we toured many of the top private athletic clubs in the country and developed our concept to provide the most sought-after features to our members.”


Following the completion of the men’s locker rooms, the newly-renovated women’s locker rooms feature a ladies’ lounge and extensive wet facilities including showers, jacuzzi, steam & sauna as well as a quiet room with lounge chairs and blanket warmers. The entryway to the 5th floor locker facilities will be served through the Mercury Sports Shop and pop-up retail space. The Club is in talks with partner companies to feature local designer goods, including sports gear, clothing and urban accessories. The store will feature an impressive 17-foot-tall stainless-steel statue of Mercury commissioned by contemporary figurative sculptor Richard Becker. The installation is flanked by an expansive grand staircase which, on completion of the final phase, will connect the fifth floor reception to the sixth-floor spa lobby with a secret door that leads to a speakeasy and the club's iconic swimming pool—the first above-ground pool west of the Mississippi.


Hidden down a secluded hallway lined with historic images of the club, guests will find the Kahuna Room, a tropical oasis and homage to Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing, multiple gold medal Olympian in swimming and loyal LAAC member who trained at the club for many years in the 1930s. The room is flooded with natural light, furnished with French-style banquettes, copper accents and palm frond wallpaper. The main focal point is a quote in pink neon from Duke: “I have never seen snow and do not know what winter means.” 

Sponsored by Absolut Elyx Vodka, The Kahuna Room will be available for English tea service, tea-infused cocktails and an assortment of sweet and savory finger foods created by chef Charles Olalia of Rice Bar.


With female members in mind, the Club is debuting WAVE, conceptualized by LAAC’s Marketing & Events Manager, Simone McAlonen. WAVE is an intersectional community dedicated to professional and personal development of women and will support all women, female-identifying or gender non-conforming members of LAAC with access to weekly workshops, career coaches, panel discussions, weekly newsletter, and access to private work spaces. Guests interested in joining will pay a one-time initiation fee and $50 monthly. WAVE has three elements, which members can participate in, including a co-working space, WAVE Idea Bootcamp and WAVE Talks. Renowned journalist and podcaster, Ann Friedman will host a talk on May 29 as part of the series.


The club is also unveiling five re-imagined meeting rooms on the fourth floor designed by renowned interior designer Tracy Beckmann, a native of Los Angeles devoted to the rehabilitation of downtown who has served as lead designer at LAAC for the past eight years. Beckmann’s redesign blends the sophistication of a historic venue and modern accommodations of an urban haven with magnificent period furnishings, rich colors, beautiful decorations and adornments from LAAC’s fine art collection.

About Los Angeles Athletic Club

The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) was the city's first private club. Founded in 1880, LAAC joined a downtown core of businesses that included prominent Angelenos, sons of the pioneers, and adventurers. Throughout the years, LAAC membership has read like a "Who's Who" of the city, with names like Lankershim, Chandler, Dockweiler, Doheny, O'Melveny, and Slauson. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, stars such as Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Harold Lloyd, Johnny Weissmuller, and Charlie Chaplin congregated at the club. LAAC eventually outgrew its original quarters and in 1912, moved to its current location at the corner of 7th and Olive Streets. Today LAAC is regarded one of the top athletic facilities in Los Angeles, offering an array of activities including basketball, squash, swimming, personal training, and spa services.

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