Summit Avenue Clubhouse
Situated high on a bluff, with a magnificent view overlooking Downtown Saint Paul and the Mississippi River Valley, the Summit Avenue Clubhouse was designed by architect Allen H. Stem, a prominent and prolific Saint Paul architect. Well known for his railroad building work in partnership with Charles A. Reed, the two architects are perhaps most celebrated nationally for their design of Grand Central Station in New York City, and locally heralded for their work on numerous Summit Avenue homes, and the local landmarks: the Saint Paul Hotel and the Saint Paul Athletic Club. The impressive Summit Avenue Tudor clubhouse they designed was constructed in 1913 and has been fully restored in recent years in preparation for its 100th Anniversary in 2013, having served continuously from its original opening as the home of the University Club.
The University Club's inviting and comfortable interior design and decor is characterized by many original design details, with the expansive Fireside Room adjacent to the Members Bar, which is reminiscent of similar member lounges in the great early twentieth-century American and London city clubs. The Summit Room, now used for special member events and available for private party rentals, was once the club's main dining room and still features its original paneling and sculpted ceiling. The spectacular Tudor style plasterwork ceiling was designed by the well-known local firm of Minuti and Brioschi, also known for the plaster ceilings of the Saint Paul Athletic Club, lobby and ballroom; Walter Library at the University of Minnesota, and many State Capitol interiors.
Adjacent to the clubhouse's lobby and Summit rooms, the Terrace was originally an open-air space that was enclosed in the 1960's to allow year-round use for private parties and member events. With its expansive windows, the Terrace overlooks the club's outdoor dining deck, grounds and swimming pool. The main Member Dining room - the Ramsey Room - claims the best views from the clubhouse - a spectacular unobstructed view of the Downtown Saint Paul skyline and miles of the Mississippi River Valley.
The clubhouse's fitness center also has the same views as the Ramsey room. It features state-of-the-art cardio and exercise equipment.
Although members occupy the majority of the building's second, third, and fourth floor offices and residential suites, the second-floor Library and Overlook Room have been retained and are still used as elegant private meeting and dining spaces.
The two and half acres of grounds include gardens, an outdoor pool complex, children's play area, and an outdoor clay tennis court (one of the only ones of its kind in Saint Paul).