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"I have been asked to tell briefly the story of financing the new building. When the Club decided to purchase land and erect a new building, the Building Committee was appointed with full power to carry the project through to completion. An issue of $250,000 of debenture bonds, bearing interest at 5 per cent. was authorized and a call was made upon the members to subscribe within ten days for $200,000 of this issue to cover the cost of the land. The members responded with great alacrity and enthusiasm; ten teams of ten members each, working in cooperation with the Civic Secretary, obtained subscriptions amounting to $232,300 in seven days, and the subscription lists were then closed. The land for the new building was purchased for $230,000 and the work of planning and construction was begun at once.
"On December 24, 1913, the Building Committee, in a report to the Executive Committee expressed its desire to be relieved of the responsibility of further financing the proposition, so that it might confine its function to directing the building operations. Respecting this request the Executive Committee asked the Finance Committee to report a plan for financing the completion of the work.
"The Finance Committee accepted the responsibility and on February 17, 1914, submitted its plan to the Executive Committee. The Finance Committee estimated that the total cost of the building, including land, equipment, fittings and furnishings would be $867,336.75, which included a reserve fund of $25,000 for contingencies. Of this sum $156,940.81 had already been paid. The funds on hand and other available funds amounted to $192,290.69, leaving a balance of $518,105.25 to be raised.
"To meet these requirements the Finance Committee recommended that the balance of $17,700 of the first issue of debentures be sold, that a second issue of $150,000 of debentures be authorized and sold, and then the Finance Committee would endeavor to place a first mortgage on the building of $350,000. This plan was approved by the Executive Committee and adopted by the Board of Governors.
"The second issue of debentures was authorized and a campaign for subscriptions was made similar to the one used for the sale of the first issue of debentures. The balance of $17,700 of the first issue of $116,000 of the second issue was subscribed by members in ten days and to obviate the extension of the time limit of the campaign, club pride and loyalty prompted a group of members to underwrite the remaining $34,000 required, of which amount more than one-half has since been subscribed by members who had not previously had an opportunity to do so.
"The debentures having been disposed of, the Finance Committee undertook the task of placing a $350,000 first mortgage at a time when such a mortgage was very difficult to negotiate. The committee's efforts were successful, and with the cooperation of a Boston Savings Bank, which had the faith and public spirit to invest its funds in a Boston enterprise, the mortgage was placed and the Building Committee went merrily on with its good work.
"The Boston City Club is deeply indebted to the Finance Committee for its important share in the work of financing safely the completion of the new building, and the sincere gratitude of the Club is due to Chairman Robert H. Gardiner, Jr., and his associates on the Finance Committee, Nathan L. Amster, Edward A. Filene, Laurence Minot, James J. Phelan, and James J. Storrow; and also to the Home Savings Bank of Boston and its President, our fellow member, George E. Brock, for their hearty cooperation. (Loud applause.)
"The building task is finished well within the estimates of the Committees, and there is glory enough for all in this grand achievement. To the three thousand members among whom the subscriptions to the debentures are distributed, and to the others who gave their patronage and paid their dues and assessments, credit is due for the success of the undertaking. I hope that all the members will continue to give their hearty cooperation to the officers in their efforts to promote the welfare of the Club, and trust that the officers will merit your confidence in the future as they have in the past.
"It is with the greatest gratification that I join with you in the dedication of this new home of the great institution that has done so much in this community to tear down the wall of prejudice and ignorance that existed in the past and prevented men from recognizing that their neighbors and fellow citizens were their friends, prevented them from seeing the worth of men working side by side with them every day in their own way for the common welfare. May the Boston City Club continue for all time as a place where all honorable men can meet and discuss in a friendly and practical and successful way those matters which are for the benefit of us all." (Prolonged applause and cheers.)
The President. "My friends, the Chairman of the Executive Committee ventured to suggest that I had stolen some of his thunder. It is pretty clear that he tried to steal a good deal of the little thunder that I had left, for he thought that he had said all there could be said in introducing the next speaker, who is the Chairman of the Building Committee. What is there left for me to say?
"Well, gentlemen, there is a good deal, and I don't propose to say it all, because it is getting late. I will simply add to the complete and extended discussion of that subject which Mr. Fitzgerald presented to you, out of revenge on the others, the simple statement that the Building Committee has had its hand on the job, its mind on the work, without cessation from the beginning. That there never was a group of men who were more devoted to their program, which was, that when this building was erected it should be the best Club in the world, and that is the committee whose names Mr. Fitzgerald has read to you.
"And as to the Chairman of that committee, we all know that he is a great builder. A little thing like this City Club is nothing to a man who builds at the rate of a dozen or fifteen a month, as he does. (Laughter.) But all the same, it was a great thing for him to neglect his regular business and spend his days and nights and Sundays on this
job, and he did it. He was backed up by his committee. He was fortunate in the choice of his architect, to be sure, and it seems to me that this Committee has done an admirable job, one that is hardly open to criticism even in minute particulars. But to come back to the point, we are under the greatest possible debt of obligation to the Building Committee and its Chairman, and I should like to have you express in some appropriate way the feeling of the Club when I introduce to you Mr. Rollins, the Chairman of the Building Committee."
(Mr. Rollins was received with tumultuous applause and cheers, as he rose to address the members.)
JAMES W. ROLLINS, ESQUIRE
"Mr. President, Distinguished Guests and Members of the City Club. It is a pity to ask you gentlemen to listen to a speech from the Chairman of the Building Committee, for it must be in a way a technical one, and with the expectancy of all the good things from the orators who are to follow me, I fear your patience will be tried.
"Most men who do things in this world do not get the credit that should come to them some few get more than should come to them; and I think I, standing here before you to-night, am one of these latter.
"For the past two weeks you men have been congratulating me on this great Club House, and I had to thank you for your kind words. Of course, the Chairman of a Building Committee has a lot of work to do, to keep the general run of the work, of the finances and some other things but all the things which you see and admire are the work of other men.
"I will accept congratulations in one way, that I helped pick out the architects, Messrs. Newhall & Blevins,-Louis C. Newhall-the master mind and genius who has wrought out of steel and work this Club House which so pleases and satisfies us. To him give the great credit and honor! Then the furnishings-art works and fixtures; the selection of these was the work of a subcommittee-James P. Munroe and Carl Dreyfus. These are the things visible, and have been done by other men.
"Another important matter was the insurance, of all kinds, on the building and contents. I have been aware from years of personal contact with insurance agents, that their numbers were legion; but I did not realize that about one-half of our total membership of 5,000 were insurance agents of some kind; and even some of their mothers and sisters joined the ranks of the men who wished to sacrifice themselves and place the insurance on our works. It was too big a job for the Chairman to tackle, and the entire proposition was turned over to Mr. John R. Simpson, who handled the matter with great skill and to the great interest of the Club.
"Mr. James M. Head and Mr. Ellis have been our advisers on contracts and legal matters. Mr. John S. Lawrence, our diplomat with adverse interests. Mr. Blackall, and later, Mr. Rothwell, our general advisers.
"My particular work on the building has been in the kitchen and basement, where you members don't go. I am now fully qualified as an expert on dish-washers, bain-maries, soup kettles and garbage disposal; and know something about ice machines, refrigerators, and sink drains.
"I wish here publicly to acknowledge to you Club members - as I could not do at a meeting of the Building Committee - my personal indebtedness to the members of our committee, to their great interest and cooperation in our work, which, lasting as it has for more than three years, has been a great pleasure to me and has given me an opportunity to meet able men, discuss matters and settle them to the satisfaction of all concerned.
"We also publicly wish to thank Mr. James E. Fee and the House Committee for their cooperation; Mr. Bacharach, the Superintendent, for all his help and suggestions; Mr. Gilmore, of the architects' office, for his able and faithful supervision of the work of construction; and also the builders, the Whitney Company, under the able direction of Mr. T. Eckford Rhoades and his assistant, Mr. John W. Reth.
"Everybody has worked together, and the result is this building which we to-day dedicate.
"I failed to mention one man to whom credit is due, for everything in the Boston City Club, and that is Addison L. Winship. (Applause.) I have always had a grudge against Winship because I always thought he was the man who suggested me as Chairman of the Building Committee; because I had to take it because it came to me.
"The official report of the Building Committee is as follows:
"At a meeting of the Boston City Club in the Fall of 1911, the President was authorized to appoint a committee of five, to consider and report on the following questions.
"I. Is it necessary or advisable to build a new house for the Boston City Club?
"2. If it is advisable to build a new Club House, to report on a suitable location, and a general plan for the house, and on the general question of financing.
"This committee reported on January 31, 1912, to the Executive Committee:
"I. On the first question the committee is unanimous in the opinion that a new Club House should be built. The Club was organized in 1904, with 500 charter members, and has grown with remarkable rapidity, until the present membership is 3,200, with a waiting list of 250, and applications coming in at the rate of 5 per day, while the resignations for the last year, for instance, have been 208.
"The present accommodations for the membership are, in the opinion of the committee, entirely inadequate, and to maintain the usefulness and growing interest in the Club, in the City, and even in the Commonwealth, provisions should be made for a membership up to 5,000. Not to consider this phase, and to hold people on the waiting list for years, is, in our opinion, unwise, as the interest and enthusiasm in and widening influence
of the Club, now steadily gaining, would be lessened by any such prospects. For these reasons, we believe that the Club should take immediate steps toward building a new Club House. At an estimated cost of $450,000, for the building only.
As a result of its investigations, the committee made the following recommendations: 'That the dues remain at $15, but that the entrance fee be raised to $20. That the ultimate limit of membership should be 5,000, which number we are assured would be reached within a few months, if the new Club House project is adopted and begun. And, that, as will be seen upon a comparison of the financing of the two sites considered, the Boston University site, only, comes within the limits and scope of proper financing on the conditions above outlined. And the committee, therefore, believing this plan can be successfully financed, recommend that immediate action be taken to start the new Club House on that site.'
JAMES W. ROLLINS, Chairman,
JAMES M. HEAD,
"Several meetings of the Club were called in that year, 1912, to consider the question of the new Club House, and to discuss the merits of the two sites proposed-the old site, Beacon and Somerset streets, and the new site, at Somerset Street and Ashburton Place; and in December, 1912, the Executive Committee recommended the latter site, and asked for authority to purchase the same and proceed to erect a new Club House; which authority was given at the annual meeting in November, 1912.
"In February, 1913, a campaign to raise $250,000 in debenture bonds was begun and the amount was raised with great enthusiasm in ten days.
"The Building Committee was in charge of the finances, and to show the spirit of some of the members I want to tell you a little incident of that campaign. The Finance Committee, I believe, at that time, were always unanimous that we should build on the old site. The Building Committee was unanimous, on the other hand, that we should build on this site, and we had discussions without end and figures without end, but when the matter was finally settled, the morning following the announcement of the fact that we were going to raise the money for the new Club House, one member of the Finance Committee sent me, personally, a check of $5,000 to show his appreciation, even when we were embarking on a project which he did not at that time agree to. (Applause.)
"Newhall & Blevins having been selected as architects, work was begun on the plans in the early spring of 1913, and proposals were asked for in May, with the result that the bids received were all too high for consideration.
"Since the original plans were made in 1912, the membership and activities in all ways of the Club had so increased that the Building