Henry Ford's renowned architect Albert Kahn designed the six-story Italian Renaissance Revival building which boasts a grand staircase, a hotel, meeting rooms, a ballroom, banquet facilities, restaurants, Grill Room bar, exercise facilities, a lap pool, a gymnasium, a basketball court, a spa, an eight lane bowling alley, and a glass enclosed rooftop lounge with a cigar bar.
The DAC survives on membership dues and new growth. The club encourages the families of its members to participate in club events and fundraisers. The sons and daughters of Detroit's business elite comprise a good portion of DAC's intermediate membership. Their children benefit from this arrangement as they have for generations.
Henry Ford was an original member, as has every generation of his descendants since. The DAC has been the most prominent locale for Detroit's business power-brokers to network with the city's movers and shakers. The club's founding members once controlled ninety percent of the world-wide automobile business. Many of the economic decisions affecting the Detroit area were discussed over cocktails at these exclusive gatherings.
|Olympic-sized lap pool.|
During much of DAC's history, Jews, African-Americans, and women were denied membership. One by one, those barriers were overcome. In 1986, women were finally admitted and currently make up twelve percent of the club's members. Today's club is trying to shed its good old boy heritage.
A strict application process is in effect. Potential members must have a sponsor, six members to write recommendation letters, an intensive interview, and approval by DAC's membership committee. This private club reserves the right to deny membership to anyone.
When asked why he was rejected, Fieger commented, "The DAC has a long history of bigotry, and I'm a lawyer for the underdog. The club's hierarchy are deeply ensconced in that old tradition."