In 1888 a contingent of Indianapolis’ most distinguished residents united their efforts to help elect Benjamin Harrison as the nation’s 23rd president, and the only Hoosier to occupy the White House.
This group, the Harrison Marching Society, welcomed all dignitaries and delegations visiting Indianapolis during the campaign. Their grand procession to Harrison’s home at 1230 North Delaware Street, where he spoke informally from his front porch, soon became the talk of the town.
The enthusiastic members of the Marching Society decided to secure a clubhouse and increase their numbers. At the suggestion of Harry S. New, one of the Club’s original subscribers and a future U.S. Senator and postmaster general, the club was renamed “Columbia” after the popular patriotic synonym for the United States. With history and tradition as its birthright, the Columbia Club was formally organized on February 13, 1889.
The club’s third and present home, a beautiful ten-story architectural showpiece located on Monument Circle, was dedicated in October 1925. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January 1983.
Because of its privacy and prestige, the Columbia Club is the gracious host for distinguished visitors from political figures to celebrities. In keeping with the Club’s origin, every Republican president since Harrison - including McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush - has visited the Club as president or candidate.
Today’s members are diverse men and women, successful in many areas of the business and professional worlds, whose preferences lie with all parties.