Oldest chess meeting place in the United States, founded on December 11, 1854. Formerly the Mercantile Library in San Francisco, it was not incorporated as a chess club in its own right. In 1906 the great San Francisco earthquake destroyed the building. The new Mechanics Institute building was not built until 1909. During the intervening years, the chess club was not in existence. For that reason, the Manhattan Chess Club in New York City, which was established in 1882, claims to be “the oldest chess club” in America in continuous existence.