The Founding

 

The Longue Vue Club was founded in 1920 and is widely recognized as one of the first club’s of its kind.

 
The Club was established by several of Pittsburgh’s wealthiest and most prominent businessmen. The overall wealth of these men led Longue Vue to be known as “The Millionaires’ Club”. Led by the Club’s first president, Mr. E.W. Mudge, it took the men very little time to put their plan into action and purchase the land on which Longue Vue still sits today. The Longue Vue Club sits on what was once known as “Martinsville”, named after Thomas Martin, as well as several other pieces of land. Mr. Martin was a Revolutionary War veteran who was given the land through a Warrant granted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on April 10, 1786. The land and Club are situated on 370 acres of ground that rests 200 feet above the Allegheny River.

Just as the founders spared no expense in purchasing the land, they sought out the very best in architecture for both the building and landscape design. The task of designing the Clubhouse was put on the shoulders of Mr. Benno Jansen, after whom one of our dinning rooms is named. Once Mr. Janssen’s plans were approved in November 1921, Mr. Edward A. Wehr began construction utilizing stones from a quarry located only 1 ½ miles from the Club. The magnificent main Clubhouse is of Norman design, with the covered vehicular entrance in English country house tradition. The Clubhouse’s exterior was completed in 1923, but the Clubhouse was not used until 1924 and was completely finished in 1925. The beautiful Clubhouse décor and facilities remain to be a staple at Longue Vue. While construction on the Clubhouse was taking place, the founders placed their emphasis on the landscape and golf course design. 

Landscape Architect Albert D. Taylor and his firm were commissioned to design the plans for the layout of the grounds at Longue Vue. Taylor was well-known for laying out equestrian trails, which were a key feature at Longue Vue prior to World War II. Taylor sent a young employee, Ralph Griswold, from the Cleveland-based firm to be the on-site manager during the construction of Longue Vue’s Landscape. As these plans were carried out, the old farm began its transformation into the spectacularly beautiful grounds that delight us today.As the landscape was being transformed, the last major undertaking was the construction of the golf course at Longue Vue. Mr. Robert White, a prominent Scottish golf course architect, was hired to design the Club’s first rate golf course. Mr. White used the area’s terrain to develop this picturesque course and was just as successful at Longue Vue as he was at the several other courses he designed throughout the country.

As the Club was founded and all of the major pieces fell into place, the Club and its founders focused on developing the Club’s first recreational activity, horseback riding. The Longue Vue stables were erected 1922, and enlarged in 1925. Eventually, the Club provided six miles of bridle paths for the member’s use. These activities, however, were relatively short lived and by 1941 Longue Vue had discontinued its stabling program. As this occurred, the interest in horses continued to diminish, and all things equestrian were eliminated for the Club.