Past President – In Memoriam…


Judge Matthew Baillie-Begbie was born in 1819 and travelled from England in 1858 to become one of the first officials of the new Crown Colony of British Columbia.

He walked and rode hundreds of miles getting to know the miners and mining camps, and judging cases everywhere.

He was an artist who drew sketches of the witnesses in his “courtroom”–often a tent or a clearing. He was an opera singer who gave concerts in Victoria.
He was a linguist who heard cases in the Shuswap and Chilcotin languages without needing an interpreter—and he often defended the rights of First Nations people, who called him “Big Chief”.

Often called “the hanging Judge”, Begbie, at 6’5″ tall, certainly looked the part. But truth be known, only 27 of the 52 murder cases he heard in the history of the Colony ended in hangings–and hanging was the punishment required by law for the crime of murder at that time. So if the verdict was guilty, the Judge didn’t have a choice….

In 1875 Begbie went on holiday to Europe and was knighted by Queen Victoria-Sir Matthew! Soon afterwards Judge Begbie was back at work, and kept judging cases for another two decades until he died on June 11, 1894, when the city of Victoria mounted a magnificent funeral procession for him.

AGM 2018 Results

Please take notice that the 139th Annual General Meeting of The Union Club of British Columbia was held in the Centennial Ballroom of the Union Club, on June 7, 2018, at 4:30pm.

With a special “Thank you” to those who let their names stand for election, the results of the General Committee election are as follows:



LCdr Angus Fedoruk

Rick Sousa

Jon Watson


President Lawrence Graham, Vice-President Grace Van den Brink and the Club’s General Committee look forward to welcoming Mr. Fedoruk, Mr. Sousa and Mr. Watson to the General Committee.

The Passing of Peggy (Mulliner) Freethy

The Club was sadly advised this week of the passing of Mrs. Peggy Freethy.  Mrs. Freethy was the Club’s oldest member at 99 years, 10 months.  She will be missed…

Today, the Club received the following interview of Mrs. Freethy, conducted in 2012 by a fellow alumni of Victoria High School (Mrs. Freethy was a member of the class of 1935).


Interviewed by Kamille Tobin-Shields, VHS Class of 2012

“As a youth, fascinated with History, I find it it extremely important to foster intergenerational relationships. The passing on of one’s wisdom and knowledge through storytelling (and simply spending time with our elders) makes for a very rich and fulfilling experience, not to mention the importance of continuing someone’s legacy.  Peggy Freethy is one of these wonderful elders who was gracious enough to share some of her early Victoria childhood memories with me!

Peggy grew up in the James Bay neighborhood of Victoria, near the end of Government Street.

She attended Alice Carr’s Kindergarten, Girls Central School and then graduated from Victoria High School in 1935.

At age five, Peggy Freethy met Emily Carr who was in her 40’s at the time. She said that Emily’s sister, Alice Carr, would often worry about Emily’s eating habits and send Peggy and one of her classmates over to Emily’s house with puddings and food for her.

Some days, Emily would ask the children to stay and she would put them to work, sweeping her small, ten-by-twelve studio. Peggy remembers, at the young age of five, sweeping the dusty studio floors as Emily Carr’s notorious monkey, sat perched up in the little window.

She also remembers Ms.Carr giving her little prints and sketches that she didn’t like, instructing the children to take them out to be burned in the fire that was always ablaze in the backyard. One day, after Peggy had finished sweeping the studio, Ms. Carr offered to take Peggy and her classmate up to the attic, in reward for doing a good job in the studio. Emily brought the two kids up the ladder and into the attic.  They were, as Peggy recalls, the first children to ever see the painted totem poles that flooded the attic’s empty space.

Peggy went on to share another story about Emily Carr, this one more personal. Emily’s sister, Elizabeth Carr, had married Mr.Williams and together they had four children, two boys and two girls. The girls were fine, healthy girls but the two boys had diabetes and epilepsy. One of the boys sat next to Peggy in Alice Carr’s kindergarten, so Peggy had become close friends with him.

One day, when Peggy was about twelve years old, one of the brothers came to visit her at home. As he they met on the sidewalk, he began to have an epileptic fit. Peggy was taught to stick a small piece of wood between the boy’s teeth, so he wouldn’t bite his tongue. Peggy then told him to stay and she ran to get Alice from the schoolhouse. On her way there, Peggy ran into Emily out walking her little dogs in a baby carriage. She told her to come at once, because the boy was having a fit. Emily whirled around, dumped her dogs in her studio and ran to the boy’s aid. She picked up the boy in her arms, a young man of age seventeen now, and cradled him for a few minutes. Peggy describes in beautiful detail, the look of compassion on Emily Carr’s face as she held this boy in her arms. “The look of compassion on her face, I have never forgotten.”

Peggy then attended Girls Central School, its building sat where Central Middle school now is. From there, Peggy moved on to attend, and graduate from, Victoria High School.

VHS Class of ’35 – Peggy in the front row, 2nd from right

Peggy looks at me, knowing that I currently attend Vic High, and asks doubtfully if there are any remainders of the All Girls division. I reply with, ” the only things that remain are the signs above the side entrances that read: “Boys Entrance” and “Girls Entrance”.

She goes on to describe to me how she can still remember her principal (sitting to her right in the photo above, beloved teacher and long-serving VHS principal, Harry Smith.  Please see the 1940’s page and the interview with Winsome [Smith] Oliver, for more stories about him.  – ed.), watching carefully from his office door every morning, as all of the students marched past him.

“Our behavior was controlled, I remember it well.”

Peggy participated in the Portia Debate team while at Vic High and was described as the “social lion of her division”. Groups, she said, were considered the thing to be a part of, if you wanted to be known at school.

“High school was a wonderful experience for me”, Peggy says with a graceful smile.

She then recalls a few more of the many memories she cherishes from her youth.

On weekends, Peggy and her friends would go to the Crystals Gardens, they would swim in the pool or go dancing at night. Peggy fondly remembers that the youth of her time always had somewhere to go, somewhere to meet new people and spend the weekend.

Peggy also belonged to The Craigdarroch Society, a group of young women who all, except for Peggy and her sister, were residents of what we call today, the prestigious Rockland area. The mothers of these young ladies would host afternoon teas, dinners and other events. The young women would go from home to home for different social occasions.

When she was younger, Peggy recalls going out to Butchart Gardens with her family. Admission was free, and they would join countless other families on the lawn to have picnics. She remembers the image of Mrs. Butchart coming around, providing the families with hot water and making sure they had everything that they needed. The sense of community was strong, and compassion was truly evident.

Sadly, our conversation had to come to an end here. I sat fully engaged as Peggy finished describing some of the fondest memories of her youth in Victoria in the 1930’s.

I was fortunate, however, to have spent just over an hour with Peggy.  Visualizing her stories of walking along wooden sidewalks, or encountering Emily Carr, or even her nights spent dancing at the Crystal Gardens, I would have loved to have listened to her stories about the young city of Victoria forever. My short time spent with Peggy taught me that memories are priceless; to cherish everything around you and everybody you meet, as they may just turn out to be a famous painter; but also, that memories will not live on unless they are shared.  The gift of storytelling and sharing must never be lost to assure this preservation. I feel fortunate to have been in Peggy Freethy’s company and even more fortunate to have been invited to share a piece of her personal history.

Past President – In Memoriam…


David McEwen Eberts was born in Chatham, Ontario, in 1850 and came to Victoria in 1878. He had studied at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and when he first came to Victoria he joined A. Rocke Robertson in law practice. He married in 1884 to Miss Mabel Charles, the daughter of a prominent Victorian.

“Hopedene”, where Mr. and Mrs. Eberts took up residence, was built by R.B. McMicking, the great grandfather of our 44th President of the same name.
In 1890, D.M. Eberts was first elected to the Legislature, for Victoria city.

In 1895, The Daily Colonist said this of Mr. Eberts: “He is free and independent in manner and though a hard fighter in any cause he espouses, he never personally antagonizes his opponents and is socially and politically one of the best-liked members in the Assembly.”

For eight years Eberts was Speaker of the Legislature, under Premier Richard McBride, and Premier W.J. Bowser. In 1917 he was appointed to the bench and he remained a Supreme Court Justice until his death, at age 74, on May 21, 1924.

Past President – In Memoriam…


Arthur Charlton Burdick was born in London, Ontario, January 30, 1874, son of Issac Newton and Helen Burdick. He was educated in London and in Ingersoll.

He came to British Columbia in 1897 at the age of 23 and went on to marry Vina Dixie in 1901. In 1907 he established Green & Burdick Bros., Real Estate and Financial Brokers, at the corner of Langley and Broughton Streets, in Victoria.

His partner was Senator Robert Francis Green, The Union Club of British Columbia’s 18th President.

Arthur Charles Burdick was a leader of the community and enjoyed a successful business career.

He died on May 20th, 1951, at the age of 77.

Canadians to Gather in Churches, Theatres and Halls for Royal Wedding Viewing Parties

David Spence (UC Member) is the president of the Royal Commonwealth Society and organizer of a wedding reception being held on the same day as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. His wife Donna Otto (UC Member) will be one of many Canadians who will wake up early to catch the royal wedding. “I’m going to enjoy every bit of it,” she says. (CHAD HIPOLITO / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

BRENTWOOD BAY, B.C.—Donna Otto hasn’t decided on wearing a fascinator or a new hat on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day, but she knows where she’ll be at 4 a.m. on Saturday when the royal couple say their “I dos.”

Otto, like most Canadians, is thousands of kilometres and many time zones away from the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, but she says she’ll be up early in Victoria to toast the newlyweds.

Theatres, cathedrals, libraries, hotels and banquet halls across Canada are booked for morning wedding celebration parties, with the hearty souls on the West Coast rising before dawn for the noon-hour ceremony in Great Britain.

“I’m going to enjoy every bit of it,” says Otto, a member of the Royal Commonwealth Society’s Vancouver Island branch. “Embrace it. My dress is a work in progress. I’m sure I’ll have either a fascinator or I’m seriously thinking of getting a brand new hat.”

The Royal Commonwealth Society and the Victoria chapter of the Monarchist League of Canada have teamed up to host a royal wedding breakfast buffet bash at the city’s 139-year-old Union Club.

Guests are invited to arrive at 3 a.m. They should be dressed in appropriate wedding attire, where they’ll watch a live television broadcast of the wedding.

“I call it fun, frivolous and foolish,” Otto says. “Why not? Sometimes life is too serious and we just need to … interject something that’s really fun to do. It’s an opportunity to focus on something very positive and that part of it is wonderful because there is such negative news in the world all the time.”

Wendy Hart says she’s excited about the wedding, but staging a viewing party at 6 a.m. in Winnipeg wasn’t generating much buzz.

Instead, the Manitoba wings of the Monarchist League, United Empire Loyalists and Royal Commonwealth Society will gather at noon Central time for a champagne luncheon to view the wedding on tape delay at the castle-like University of Winnipeg Club, she says.

“People were not that keen to get up that early in the morning,” Hart says. “It’s going to be so pleasant to watch it at a reasonable time of day.”

She says Prince Harry and Meghan have captivated millions around the world with their love story and the bonds they created.

“It’s not just a royal wedding,” Hart says. “It’s a union involving North America and the United Kingdom. We’re crossing the ocean on this one.”

In Toronto, where Harry and Meghan’s romance blossomed, a 7 a.m. viewing party is being held at the Duke of Cornwall pub, which has room for about 160 people. Participants will watch the ceremony on television, feast on English-style breakfasts and participate in a royal trivia quiz.

U.K. expat Paulo Antunes, who operates the Toronto online site Typically British, says he expects long-time royal enthusiasts and younger Harry and Meghan fans to gather for the celebration.

“Our event is a mixed bag,” he says. “We’re getting older people who have been following all the major royal events for years and there’s these young people who are excited for Harry and they’re excited for Meghan who lived 20 minutes down the street.”

Markle resided in Toronto for several years while filming the television series Suits.

Antunes says the pub will serve royal-flavoured non-alcoholic drinks, including Ginger and Tonic, Long Island High Tea, Harry Wallbanger and Bloody Meghan.

You’ll find festivities east of Ontario too. The historic British restaurant Bar George in Montreal is hosting a viewing party, complete with platters of scones and sandwiches. The Delta Halifax in Nova Scotia is hosting a breakfast spread with their live screening.

David Spence, a retired United Church minister, says he’s going to be wearing his McDuff tartan kilt to the breakfast wedding ceremony at Victoria’s Union Club.

At his Brentwood Bay home, just 20 kilometres northwest of Victoria, Spence, who performed the wedding ceremony for Paralympian and activist Rick Hansen and Amanda Reid, says he’s become enamoured with Harry and Meghan and what they represent to the world.

“People are infatuated with a young couple who reflects the diversity of what the modern Commonwealth is all about,” says Spence, who is the Vancouver Island president of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

“They have an energy level they are sharing with the world. They’ve gone through some difficult parts of their lives in order to reach this level of identity with people.”

The Ultimate Guide To Experiencing Everything THE PLAYERS Championship Has To Offer

THE PLAYERS Championship, hosted in Ponte Vedra, Florida at the TPC Sawgrass, is amongst one of the most anticipated golf events of the year. Its prestigious credibility stems from their grand host course, record-breaking winners, and family-friendly vacation location. The golf tournament also features the largest prize fund set at $10.5 million from 2015 to 2017.

Past notable winners include Tiger Woods (2001, 2013) and the legendary Jack Nicklaus (1974, 1976, 1978). And, just last year THE PLAYERS’ notability grew even more when the South Korean golfer, Kim Si-Woo, became the youngest to win the tournament at just 21-years-old. THE PLAYERS Championship 2018 offers more than just a golf tournament if you can make it a week-long stay. Below is a glimpse into the world that awaits you if you decide to attend. If you weren’t considering THE PLAYERS Championship before, we’re sure you’ll want to fly out to Ponte Vedra, Florida come May 8 – 13.


The TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse will be reimagined as THE PLAYERS Championship invite-only, ultra VIP experience for those seeking unparalleled hospitality. You’ll have weekly access to the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse during practice and tournament rounds; a private viewing space on #17 Tee and #18 Green Tuesday through Sunday; premium food and beverages included. Additionally you will receive a $500 shopping credit provided per ticket to shop from the TPC Sawgrass Pro Shop featuring premium brands and unique merchandise offered only at this location. Upon your valet arrival, a bottle of champagne will greet you to commemorate your presence. Guests of THE PLAYERS Club are issued their tickets individually for each tournament day with more information available upon request.


“We have built the Disneyland equivalent for golf fans,” shared Jared Rice, Executive Director of THE PLAYERS. He and THE PLAYERS team have dreamed up impeccable renovations to The Stadium Course. You can experience the prestigious golf tournament through a world-class lens from one of the many lounges spread throughout the grounds. The Turn, located on the 18th Fairway with outside views of #18 Fairway and Green, and inside views of #9 Fairway, offers a full premium bar and tasty food available for purchase. It also features HD TV feeds, open indoor and outdoor seating, climate controlled interiors, and private restrooms. “THE PLAYERS Championship is truly unlike any other sporting event in the world,” said Rice. “Fans have a front row seat to watch the world’s best professional golfers play one of the most iconic courses in the game, but this tournament is so much more than just great golf—it is the social event of the year. There’s something for everyone at THE PLAYERS, and it is our goal for fans to walk away from their time here saying, ‘That was one of the best experiences of my life.’”


William Hill Estate Winery is the official wine of the tournament and will be showcased at THE PLAYERS Championship. Its stylish and contemporary tasting room, The Wine Lounge, found in their Napa Valley estate location, will be recreated on site. Wines will include Napa Valley Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast Chardonnay, and North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon.


Tournament grounds will feature local vendors throughout in support of community businesses. The roster will include Argentinian bites from Mama’s Kitchen and Tex-Mex from the fan favorite, TacoLu, also known as Tacos on 12, on game day. The affluent foodie will be thrilled to know that the Four-Diamond award-winning restaurant, Restaurant Medure, will be present to satisfy their refined cravings.


When it comes to convenient accommodations close to TPC Sawgrass, look no further than the Sawgrass Marriott. Its unmatched privileges include complimentary rides to the golf course via shuttle, or scenic golf cart excursions upon request. Access to the hotel’s “The Living Room” is included which includes featured complimentary snacks and beverages such as coffee and wine.

The resort is surrounded by dreamy greenery, a remarkable lagoon with exotic wildlife, waterfalls, bonfires, family-friendly games, and a large pool surrounded by lounge chairs. Three restaurants can be found on the property, a Starbucks, and a large plush lounge. Their private beach club is also accessible via their shuttle. You’ll receive a free one-year magazine subscription to Golf Digest, a complimentary happy hour reception on the deck, and more.


Share the same masseuse expert as your favorite golf player at the tranquil Massage Envy as they are the official massage therapists for the players. Their preferred service is the stretch and massage, which helps maintain  the body’s health and flexibility during the tournament. The spa is only 11 minutes away from the Sawgrass Marriott.


Exploring the city of St. Augustine during your downtime is definitely something to consider. You’ll only be 40-minutes away from the beach and historical landmarks like the Castillo de San Marcosand the oldest surviving Spanish colonial in America, the González–Alvarez House.

The Union Club; Present Past and Future: the Billiards Memorial Totem and Time-Capsule

The Billiard Room – past, present and future…

During the 24 years that I have been a member of the Union Club, I have gradually become aware that one of the qualities I like best about the Club is the retro-style ambiance. I often point out to my friends and guests that coming into the Union Club is like entering the set of a Humphrey Bogart movie in terms of surroundings and general ambiance! It is beautiful, and also reflects and respects the style and good taste of the past. This authentic milieu is distinct and set apart, it is a retreat from the faster and more voracious Body-Politic that surrounds us.

Shakespeare quotation located on the Billiards Memorial Totem

The Billiards Room at the Union Club contributes to and is a part of this retro milieu; the room has  been in continual use for billiards and snooker-related activities for over a century! The tables and the soft green lights contribute to the general authentic retro ambiance. The same type of full size tables still grace many historic homes and castles in Europe. As such, the billiards room has a kind of understated elegance, and quietly contributes to the retro style that graces the building as a whole.

As part of the Union Club we respect the past and honour those who are no longer with us. For example, we have a Billiards Memorial Totem located on the east wall of the Billiard Room. This is an antique cue case that we use to honour the memory, by way of a small brass inscribed plaque, of the names of players who are no longer with us.

Billiards Memorial Totem; located on the east wall of the Billiards room.

We have also inserted a time-capsule tube into this totem! It is scheduled to be opened in 100 years time. This adds character and depth to the already excellent totem. We are using an anodized aluminium tube as a protective cover for rolled pages. Once it is sealed it will be both water tight and air tight and, hopefully, it will protect and maintain the enclosed information for 100 years.

We have included information related to three themes:

  • The billiards room milieu is highlighted because this is a billiards memorial Totem. We have included pictures and statistics related to our billiards and snooker activities. We review our activities, and this may be interesting for comparison purposes. Some things change over time, and some do not. If there is a group of people playing snooker at the Union Club in 2118 they may well be interested in these types of comparisons. We also have included some individual player page profiles of current member/players; these are interspersed throughout, and add a personal touch.
  • The purpose of a time capsule is mainly to provide “a snapshot in time” and therefore we are including information and references to current events at the Union Club. We are focusing on the first six months of 2018 as our snapshot in time. For example, the recently established custom of giving featured artists increased visibility at the Union Club is colourful and progressive, and I know they enjoy having their work displayed in our beautiful retro milieu.  Other current developments, such as the possible election of our first female President, would surely be a sign of the times at the Union Club!  There are many other samples of information that are suitable such as the recent heritage designation of the building, the Union Club finances, formal menu, and so on.
  • The City of Victoria. We are located in Victoria, at the Union Club, and some of the details related to occurrences that coincide with our “snapshot in time” provide genuine context and perspective. For example the “100 Year Johnson Street Bridge” is a perfect story to coincide with the launching of our (100 year) time-capsule.  Another example is in regard to the current Victoria real estate market; this may be of interest to future residents! In fact, there is much more relevant information than there is space (ie: pages). In the end, it is very interesting to select and locate information that will provide some anchor points to this “moment in time”.

Our plan is to complete the assembly of the time capsule by mid-summer of 2018. Following this, which includes adding pages to the outside as well as the inside of the anodized aluminium tube, we will shrink wrap the whole package, and it will be placed in the billiards memorial totem for posterity; scheduled to be opened in 2118!  Once this is accomplished we will seal the totem, probably in the early fall season and well before the end of the calendar year.

So, this is a small project, and very local to the billiards room, but it seemed a good candidate for a UC blog post! Thank you for taking time to read about our remembrance totem.

Best Wishes to enjoy the spectacular blush of the spring and summer season on beautiful Vancouver Island!

Brian W. Johnson, Club member

Shakespeare quote inscribed on the Billiards Memorial Totem.

Posh New Philly Club to Target City’s Emerging Youthful Elite

Artist’s rendering of lounge with terrace at the members-only Fitler Club planned at 2400 Market St.

When it was known as the Marketplace Design Center, 2400 Market St. was a lightly trafficked building in what remained a fringe neighborhood at the far west of Philadelphia’s central business district.

Hospitality financier David Gutstadt now wants to turn part of the building, which will also soon host Aramark Corp.’s new world headquarters, into a center for the social lives of the city’s emerging business, tech, and cultural elite.

Gutstadt’s $50 million-to-$60 million plan for what’s to be called the Fitler Club, unveiled at a press event Thursday, involves fitness facilities, fine dining, hotel rooms, coworking offices, event spaces, and other amenities encompassing 75,000 square feet over parts of the building’s lower three floors.

It’s a local take on the new wave of high-end private membership clubs – such as those making up the London-based Soho House chain – that are popping up in some of the world’s more prosperous cities. It underscores Philadelphia’s rising fortunes.

The decision to place it at Center City’s far-western edge overlooking the Schuylkill, meanwhile, highlights central Philadelphia’s shifting center of gravity toward University City.

Gutstadt, whose background includes working on hotel deals at Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley, as well as a stint devising a hospitality concept for a venture involving Related Companies and the Equinox fitness chain, said he hoped his Philadelphia club would the first in a national network.

His plan has attracted about 75 financial backers, including basketball hall-of-famer and former naval officer David Robinson’s Admiral Capital Group, he said.

“Why should we have to wait to import something? Why can’t we do something great that’s for Philadelphians, by Philadelphians?” he said. “Why don’t we get the best example of something first here, then we can be an exporter?”

The Fitler Club is scheduled to open in early 2019. It will enter a market long dominated by old-line establishments, such as the Union League and the Racquet Club, spaces filled with elaborate chandeliers, oriental rugs, classical statuary, and oil paintings.

“When you look at the aesthetics and you walk in and you see 100 years of presidents of the club and a majority are old white men, I think the younger demographic says, ‘I don’t want to join my father’s country club; I want my own identity,’ ” said Zack Bates, chief executive of Newport Beach, Calif.-based members’ clubs consultancy Private Club Marketing.

The Fitler Club will feature food and beverage services managed by Vetri Family restaurant group co-founder Jeff Benjamin, with chef Kevin Sbraga, whose since-shuttered eateries include the fine-dining namesake Sbraga and the Fat Ham.

Also onsite will be a 14-room five-star hotel; a coworking center with 20 private offices, and 65 single-desk workstations; more than 10,000 square feet of event space that will spill out onto a deck over the Schuylkill; a fitness center with a 75-foot lap pool; and a screening room that will feature first-run films, Gutstadt said.

“The whole theory is, you want people to activate the space all day, all night,” he said. “So what are the elements you can use to keep this space activated?”

The club’s management plans to build up its membership in phases, growing from an initial cap of around 1,000 to about 2,500 in coming years.

It will be priced in line with similar clubs in other cities, Gutstadt said. That translates to initiation fees of $1,500 to $2,500, plus monthly dues of $250 to $500, Bates said.

The number of Philadelphians able to afford those fees may be small compared with the likes of New York, Miami, and West Hollywood, Calif., But it’s growing: The number of Philadelphia households earning more than $100,000 a year increased 25 percent to 85,455 in 2015 from five years earlier, according to calculations based on U.S. Census data.

Jacob Cooper, a managing director with brokerage MSC Retail in Philadelphia, said he thought there would be solid demand for memberships from long-term residents and recent transplants seeking a place to have most of their social, business and exercise needs met under one roof, in like company.

The club will be well-placed on the Schuylkill waterfront to draw members from those in medical and technology fields in University City — which includes sites proposed to Inc. as potential locations for a second headquarters — as well as from the emerging business leaders in western Center City, where Comcast Corp. continues to expand, Cooper said.

Gutstadt happens to be the son-in-law of Philadelphia real estate entrepreneur Carl Dranoff, among the city’s first contemporary developers to discover the Schuylkill waterfront, and he previously worked for Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds, a co-owner of the 2400 Market St. building.

But he said the location rose to the top of list on its own merits during the six months he spent scouring Philadelphia for the right site.

“It really is the new center of Center City,” he said.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Kentucky Derby

As far as live horse racing track competitions go, the Kentucky Derby is the crown jewel of live horse races. Since the official race is almost here, we want to share some Kentucky Derby facts so that you can impress your friends over a refreshing Mint Julep.


The Kentucky Derby Has Never, Ever Been Canceled

The Run for the Roses has lived through some hard times in American history. But since its founding in 1875, the race has never been canceled. Come rain or shine, come depression or war, come what may, there will always be a race on the first Saturday in May.

Space is Limited

Only 20 of the best of the best thoroughbred racehorses compete every year. When you compare this to the number of horses born every year, that’s less than one percent of horses that get a chance to run.

Extravagant Hats Are a Deep-Rooted Tradition

Kentucky Derby facts aren’t all about the horses. The founder of the first race in the Triple Crown series wanted this event to compare to Paris Fashion Week. To this day, women come dressed to the hilts. Every year gets more and more fabulous.

Female Horses Don’t Always Run the Live Horse Racing Track

One of the more troubling Kentucky Derby interesting facts for owners of female thoroughbred horses to hear is that only three fillies have won the competition.

Horse Lovers Know How to Party

Kentucky Derby facts for kids that could get them excited about the festivities is that for over 60 years, there are two weeks of parties, parades, and events before the great race. Those familiar with the scene call it the Kentucky Derby Festival.

Triple Crown Winners Are the Most Physically Fit Thoroughbred Horses

Racehorses in Kentucky are strong athletes. To win the Triple Crown, a horse must take first in three competitions all held within the same month. Can you imagine the kind of energy that takes? Some interesting Kentucky Derby facts trivia you could spread is that only 12 horses have ever been honored as Triple Crown winners.

It Costs a Pretty Penny to Enter

It’s not polite to talk about money, but when talking about Kentucky Derby facts, we’ll make an exception. If all deadlines are met, it costs over $50,000 to enter the race.

Mint Julep is the Official Drink of the Race

A hot day at the live horse races requires a refreshing beverage. Mint Juleps are the official drink of race lovers. Attendees drink more than 120,000 of these things during their visit at the track.

You Can Win Big

On top of a sweet blanket of roses, Derby winners take home $2 million. That’s a nice chunk of change.

People Bet Big

When it comes to Kentucky Derby facts, it’s no surprise that people bet big. But would you be impressed if we told you people bet nearly $209.2 million in 2017?

A lot of luck and just $1 could’ve made you $75,974.50 richer at the 2017 Derby. All you would’ve had to do is pick the top four horses in the 2017 Kentucky Derby in the correct order.