Join the Santa Monica Conservancy for our 2018 Annual Meeting and Preservation Awards on Sunday, April 8 from 2-4 pm. Winners of this year’s Preservation Awards will be honored, and the Conservancy will review its work and effectiveness in 2017 as well as hold board elections. The program will be featured at the award-winning Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club (1210 4th St.). The event is free and registration is recommended. RSVP online here.
History of the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club
The Club began as a history and current affairs class, organized by suffragette and community activist Elmira Stephens. The first meeting of this study group was held in a private home on the corner of Fourth Street and Wilshire Boulevard. By 1905, with Elmira as president, “The History Class” became the Woman’s Club of Santa Monica, now known as the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club with an initial membership of 88 women.
In 1914, the members opened their Clubhouse on Fourth Street with funds provided, in part, by wealthy businesswoman and landowner Arcadia Bandini Baker De Stearns. The building was designed by architect Henry C. Hollwedel who served as the City Building Inspector and guided the construction of the Santa Monica Pier. “The Clubhouse became a hub of activity, a place to meet and socialize, but also a place to raise money for social causes– a center to organize, to educate, and to celebrate,” states the Santa Bay Woman’s Club.
By the 1950s, membership had grown to 700, and the members were involved in numerous activities such as organizingRed Cross activities, hosting USO parties for servicemen during WWII as well as participating in the Needlework Guild and the Well-Baby Clinic
Today, more than 100 years after the founding of the Club, its members support local charities, by organizing cultural events for the community, preserving its Historic Landmark Clubhouse (landmarked in 1991) for future generations and continuing the tradition of being a social meeting place.