Founding of the Rainier Club

The Rainier Club was founded in 1888 and moved into the McNaught mansion, located at Fourth Avenue and Spring Street, today the site of the Seattle Public Library. Its purpose was a social club - somewhere where like-minded young businessmen could enjoy one another's company and dine away from home. From the beginning, the club's membership has read like a virtual 'who's who' in Seattle business, politics and the arts. Civic activities over the years have included promotion of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and 1962 Seattle's worlds fair, and the creation of Metro (now Metro King County) and Forward Thrust. Early on, however, its leadership capabilities were put to the test when in 1889 the club because instrumental in planning the new post-fire Seattle. It did this under the able lead of Judge Thomas Burke. In 1893 the Rainier Club moved into the new Seattle Theater Building, but by 1903 the Club was ready to design its own structure. It leased the parcel at Fourth and Marion, and hired well-known Spokane architects Kirtland K. Cutter and Karl G. Malmgren to design the structure.

 

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