The LAAC was founded on September 8, 1880 and used several locations before settling into its own twelve-story building in downtown Los Angeles in 1912. The LAAC building was notable at the time for being the first building in Southern California to have a swimming pool on an upper floor.
Due to its position in the growth and development of Los Angeles, the LAAC had significant success during its first 60 years, with membership reflecting its position in Los Angeles society and early Hollywood. The club faced significant financial burdens due to World War II and the subsequent growth of suburbs.
Athletes from the LAAC have earned numerous medals in the Summer Olympics, with a particularly high number during the 1932 Los Angeles Olympiad. The total medal tally for the LAAC is 97 medals, including 47 gold.