After over four years of planning, John Domo’s Newport North Shore Development exercised its option to acquire Samuel Mather’s Shoreby at 12023 Lake Shore Boulevard on January 2, 1990. Mather had the home designed for summer fun, and Domo conceived of retaining that summer fun with a resort atmosphere featuring a full-service dining club with a lakeside swimming pool. The acquisition of Shoreby provided him with the mansion for a clubhouse and Shaw Brook for a marina site.
The focal point of the Newport development was the equity member Shoreby Club. The club would feature a formal dining room and lounge on the first floor, a garden terrace overlooking Lake Erie, several private dining rooms on the second floor, and six to eight elegant guest suites on the third floor. In addition, a new building was planned to accommodate a fully equipped spa/wellness center with features such as an indoor lap pool, a whirlpool, steam baths, and fitness equipment.
The plan for Shoreby also provided a wide variety of recreational amenities like sailing and fishing-charter services, outdoor and indoor lap pools, and tennis and paddle tennis courts.
Bradford Gellert, senior project manager for ThenDesign Architecture, was selected as the architect for the mansion renovation and addition of the Harbor Grill. Peggy A. Brown of Cleveland Heights was chosen as the landscape architect.
Groundbreaking was on May 22, 1992. The general contractor for the seven-million dollar project was Richard R. Maher, the Maher Group, Inc. of Mayfield Heights.
The twenty-five-room Romanesque home was restored to its former grandeur and preserved as much as possible to retain the splendor of the past. The exterior had a chemical stone cleaning. Existing windows were refitted with thermopane glass. Six layers of roof material were removed, and a slate roof with copper gutters was installed.
Adjoining the mansion, the Harbor Grill and Bar was added, featuring casual year-round, indoor dining as well as poolside service surrounding the Olympic-sized heated swimming pool during the warmer months.
Two phases were to be developed when there was sufficient equity ownership. Phase II of the renovation was to provide five guest suites on the third floor, tennis court at the south end of Newport Harbor, and restoration of the “pocket” beach and twin piers. Phase III was to provide a spa-wellness center adjacent and connected to the Harbor Grill.
The facility’s interior was modernized with new heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems installed. The original millwork and fireplaces were kept, but the floor plan changed somewhat to make it a cheerful and inviting club.
The Dallas-based ClubCorp, the largest owner and operator of private golf and country clubs in the United States, helped oversee the renovation of the Samuel Mather mansion. They retained the noted architect/interior designers, Harold Young from Dallas, Texas, for the interior design work along with local engineers and architects. Young promised to remain faithful to the original intent of the Mathers.
Many of the closets and bathrooms were removed on the second floor to allow for meeting rooms. The Lakeview Dining Room retained the original Minton tiles surrounding the fireplace with the religious inscription favored by Mr. Mather.
Designers used drapery and rug colors of muted greens, blues, and reds to go with the paneled woodwork and elegant fireplaces of the club.
The result was the creation of a unique and glamourous ambiance. Shoreby became reminiscent of the fabled clubs of the 19th century, reflecting an era both in international flavor and through the selection of furnishings and artwork. Shoreby bestowed a vacation resort atmosphere providing impressive lake views along with unrivaled sunsets.
In the fall of 1989, a board was assembled for the Shoreby Club. They selected Shoreby Club Management Inc., an Ohio Corporation owned by Club Corporation of America to manage Shoreby.
The Shoreby Club offered pre-registration tours on weekend afternoons during 1990. Village residents were welcome, with no appointments necessary. The club had been the site of informal summer gatherings during the summer of 1990 as the membership grew.
On a beautiful Saturday evening on May 8, 1993, Bratenahl Mayor Richard McKeon cut the ribbon officially opening the Shoreby Club. A black-tie gala followed to celebrate the club's opening. Members were impressed with what they experienced with the first view of the library, bar, and lounge to the overall ambiance of the elegant and gracious décor.
The Shoreby Club has continued to provide members with an exclusive, residentially-styled private club recognized for outstanding cuisine and flawless service, the perfect setting for unsurpassed social and business entertaining.