In recognition of OFCC’s unique architectural legacy, in 2016 the Olympia Fields Country Club Historic Landmark Foundation was established. The Foundation’s mission is to preserve and restore the historically significant elements of Olympia Fields, with particular emphasis on the OFCC Clubhouse.
The Foundation is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees. Advised and supported by the Foundation’s Historical Architect, the Trustees provide and administer grants for eligible projects that satisfy the Foundation’s Mission.
A major role of the Foundation is to raise awareness and funds to help support its Mission. The Foundation serves as a 501(c)(3) public charity, providing tax advantages for individual contributions, event donations and bequests. These contributions allow the Foundation to preserve and protect this historic landmark for the enjoyment and education of future generations.
In 2001 Olympia Fields Country Club was officially designated a National Historic Place by the U.S. Department of the Interior. This rare designation applies to all of the historically significant elements within the “district” of the Club including the golf courses and, in particular, the iconic Clubhouse. In 2006, the American Institute of Architects named OFCC one of the “150 Best Places in Illinois”, the only golf club so recognized. These designations indicate the unique status of OFCC in American history and architecture.
Designed by prominent Chicago architect and Chairman of the OFCC Founders George C. Nimmons, the Clubhouse is the iconic symbol of OFCC and a monument to the Golden Age of American golf. Built in 1923-24 in fulfillment of the Club’s Greater Olympia Plan and meant to serve a membership of 1200 families, its 110,000 square foot expanse made it the largest golf clubhouse in the world. The men’s locker room alone covers over 22,000 square feet – larger than many modern clubhouses. Incredible in stature, majestic in views, unique in its Tudor-revival style and showcasing its trademark 80-foot-high four-faced clock tower, the Clubhouse continues to leave an indelible imprint on all those who walk through its doors. From being a beacon for Championship Golf tournaments to celebrating family events, the Clubhouse continues to write history and produce cherished memories.
The Clubhouse has been in continual use since its original construction. While some areas have been repurposed or redesigned to reflect today’s smaller membership and modern needs, its historical structure and features are largely intact. Like all historically significant buildings, its preservation requires significant maintenance of its structure, façade and interior – maintenance that is typically made more costly by efforts to use and maintain historically consistent materials and design features. And while some elements of Nimmons’ original vision have inevitably given way to nearly a century of use and remodeling, a prime goal of the Foundation is to restore these elements in a way that remains consistent with modern requirements. We are fortunate to possess all of Nimmons’ original blueprints and professional articles concerning the Clubhouse. These and related items are on display in the Clubhouse.