The ABC's of Rotary

Posted on Nov 13, 2017
 
 
 

Room 711 — Rotary’s Birthplace

The number 711 has a very special significance for Rotary. Room 711 of the old Unity Building, formerly located at 127 North Dearborn Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA, was the birthplace of Rotary. It was in that historic room, which was the office of engineer Gus Loehr, where Paul Harris first met with sever al friends to discuss his new idea of a club for professionals and businessmen.
 
It took extensive research and dedication by a few Chicago Rotarians to preserve the room and restore it to its 1905 authenticity. For years, Room 711 was preserved as a miniature Rotary museum by Rotarians around the world who voluntarily belonged to and contributed annually to the Paul Harris 711 Club, which provided funds for leasing, maintenance, and preservation. In 1989, when the Unity Building was about to be torn down, members of the 711 Club carefully dismantled the landmark room and placed its contents in storage. There it stayed until 1994, when the re-created Room 711 found a permanent home at the RI World Headquarters in Evanston, where this piece of Rotary’s heritage is preserved.
 
 - Cliff Dochterman 1992-93 President Rotary International
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