Broadmoor Country Club Celebrates 100 years
Submitted by Jan Breiner Frazier, Board President
It’s an exciting time for Broadmoor Country Club as we celebrate our 100-year history! This milestone should be particularly exciting for members of our Jewish community, as Broadmoor had its beginning as a response to the widespread antisemitism and Klan influence in Indianapolis in the 1900’s. Similar to country clubs across the U.S., Indianapolis clubs regularly discriminated against African Americans and Jews.
In the early 1900’s Jewish businessmen were prospering and very active in the arts and philanthropy. Mr. Al Block, an original BCC board member, developed The Circle Theater, The Indiana Theater and the Illinois Building, all which are still standing today. Jewish social clubs began to form in Indianapolis as the city’s Jewish population reached a steady 1% during the late nineteenth century and self-selection kept most Jews out of already established clubs and organizations. For instance, patterned after the social clubs of the 1860s and 1870s, the Americus Club opened in 1892 and offered a place where Jewish men could comfortably socialize in a setting.
The Indianapolis Club, located in a mansion at 23rd and Meridian Street on Indianapolis’s north side, was started by Standard Paper’s Albert Rosenthal in 1908. As president of the Indianapolis Club, Mr. Rosenthal lead a group of individuals who decided to buy the Fox Farm, located on the northwest side of Indianapolis, and develop a Jewish Country Club. To that end, they created Broadmoor Realty. Five men put up $10,000 (the equivalent of $100K today) and received preferred stock. The rest was sold to members for $1,000 (the equivalent of $10K today).
The June 18, 1922, edition of the Indianapolis Sunday Star ran with the headline: “Musty Parchment Deed Signed by President Jackson Brought to Light when New Broadmoor Country Club Buys Home Site” with the subheading “Granted to John Fox nearly 100 years ago and held by direct descendants since 1934 – house built 75 years ago contains many curios.”
The Sunday Star edition of June 29, 1924, ran an article on page 6: “Broadmoor Country Club Golf Course to be formally opened for play on July the Fourth. Tract of 160 acres northwest of City, which about 100 years ago was a rolling collection of grass and hay fields, has been transformed into beautiful grounds by group of local men.”
Broadmoor was known as the “Jewish club” until the mid-1970’s when the club opened up its membership. Three Clubhouses and two course renovations later, Broadmoor has been restored to its glory days with its historic Donald Ross-designed golf course, being recognized as the course renovation of the year.
The Jewish Community Center and Jewish Federal of Greater Indianapolis have many members and stakeholders who are members of Broadmoor Country Club. For those who left, we would like to welcome you back!
Broadmoor Country Club is a proud member of the Donald Ross Society