Cars were rare, and most Edgewood residents took the train to work. Any athletic, social or cultural activity in the evenings had to be within walking distance. This need was the genesis of The Edgewood Club. The Club was incorporated on July 2, 1904. The original Maple Avenue property, the current site of the Edgewood Primary School, was expanded and ultimately included a ballroom and stage on the second floor; bowling alleys, billiard room, card room, parlor, and men's and women's dressing rooms on the main floor. Three tennis courts were also constructed on the property.
In 1916, prominent architect Edward B. Lee designed a Spanish-Mission style structure on the corner of Pennwood and West Swissvale Avenues. The barrel-shaped red tile roof with Alamo like white stucco walls, stout columns, and heavy exposed timbers accentuates the building as a focal point within the community. According to Franklin Toker, author of Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait, it is "a public monument...altogether one of the best public buildings in the city."
One of the Club's traditional activities was an Election Night Party. Initially, the results were received by telegraph, but on November 2, 1920, with radio in its experimental stage, the Edgewood Club Election Night Party was the first large group ever to hear election returns by radio from what remains KDKA radio. The Club also served as the center for the community's wartime efforts, including the wrapping of bandages and preparation of packages for soldiers.
Tennis was a principal activity of the Club, and some residents achieved prominence in the sport far outside of Edgewood. Chuck Garland became the national boys' champion, an intercollegiate champion at Yale and later, the captain of the U.S. Davis Cup Team.
A swimming pool was opened on the site in 1958 creating such a demand for the Club's facilities that a waiting list had to be established.
More recently, reallocation of space has permitted the library to expand its collection, particularly the children’s area, and make the facility accessible to all with an elevator. In 1999, a new pool was constructed that was better oriented to the grounds and a few years later new locker rooms, and a full service snack bar were completed.
Today, the integrity of its architecture remains as does its shared mission of providing educational and recreational resources to Edgewood and the surrounding communities. The Club proudly remains a centerpiece of not only Edgewood, but the entire East End of Pittsburgh.