Back to top

Historic Oakland Hills Clubhouse

By Matt Rossetti

The scene of the clubhouse fire at Oakland Hills Country Club was frightening. Flames and smoke billowed from the stately white structure, destroying the creation of one of Detroit's all-time prominent architects - C. Howard Crane.

Crane is one of the greatest theater architects of his time, designing more than 250 'movie palaces' in major cities in the United States and Britain. Fortunately for us, the Motor City was his home. His architectural designs of Orchestra Hall, Detroit Opera House (originally the Capitol Theater), and his most incredible creation, the Fox Theater, are now significant attractions helping in the rebirth of Detroit. 

The fast response from firefighters in Oakland County and surrounding communities needs to be commended. There were no injuries, and their quick thinking helped save multiple historical artifacts.

This clubhouse modeled after Mount Vernon, George Washington's home in Fairfax County, Virginia, was the backdrop for the setting of 17 Major Championships, including the 35th Ryder Cup in 2004 and the 90th PGA Championship in 2008.

Our thoughts go out to Oakland Hills president Rick Palmer, general manager Christine Pooler, the staff, the club members, and all the guests from around the world who traveled to Detroit over the past 100 years to enjoy the many special events hosted by OHCC. I know the resolve of our community and business leaders affiliated with this historic place will help rebuild this local gem, and I am appreciative for the positive impact it has brought to our region.