The local firm of Schenk and Williams designed the club building, and also supervised
construction. The architects included the latest city steam heat and ventilation,
with automated valves and regulators plus electric lighting. They built well, knowing
they would hear about any problems. They were members.
Still, the work wasn’t perfect. Long-term deficiencies in the roof truss design have
led to repeated problems in recent years, addressed as funds become available. A
Roof Fund has been established to plan for full replacement.
The reserved Orville Wright broke his perennial silence, speaking publicly at the
opening on February 2nd, 1918.
To get things rolling quickly, Deeds and Kettering paid for the building themselves
in excess of $300,000 and subsidized its maintenance and operations for the first
decade. By then membership had grown to the point that the club could be self-sufficient.
Talk about self-starters!
High tech fixtures
The new club building incorporated a number of innovations. A built-in master vacuum
cleaning system bore similarities to Orville Wright’s self-designed system at the
Wright mansion, Hawthorn Hill. A pneumatic system synchronized the club’s clocks
through a bellows, which advanced the minutes & hours via suction or puffs of air.
Buttons for the servant enunciator network are still visible around the building.