Friday Morning Club

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Friday Morning Club
Friday Morning Club, 938-940 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles (Los Angeles County, California).jpg
Friday Morning Club in 1980
Friday Morning Club is located in California
Friday Morning Club
Location 938-940 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°2′44″N 118°15′43″W / 34.04556°N 118.26194°W / 34.04556; -118.26194Coordinates: 34°2′44″N 118°15′43″W / 34.04556°N 118.26194°W / 34.04556; -118.26194
Built 1923
Architect Allison & Allison
Architectural style Renaissance, Other
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #


LAHCM # 196
Added to NRHP May 17, 1984

The Friday Morning Club at 940 South Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 for the criteria of social history and architectural significance. Designed by architects Allison & Allison and built in 1923, it was the home for many years of a women's club of the same name. Founded by abolitionist, suffragist, mother and homemaker Caroline Severance in 1891, the Friday Morning Club (FMC) was the largest single women's club in California, with membership of over 1,800 women by the 1920s.[2][3][4] Women's clubs were a mainstay of middle-class women's social and intellectual life across America from the end of the Civil War until the middle of the 20th century, when their numbers declined as opportunities increased for women's equal participation in mainstream business, educational, and social institutions. Caroline Severance had founded one of the first such clubs in the nation, the New England Women's Club of Boston, in 1868, and her known political associations gave the FMC a (deserved) reputation as a politically active powerhouse for community improvement in Los Angeles. In order to meet their goals of self-improvement; study of the arts, literature and culture; and the political and social advancement of women clubs built or renovated a building to serve as their club house as soon as they could raise the money. To protect the club and its assets in an era of less-than-solid property rights for married women, clubs routinely formed a stock corporation to raise and invest money for a clubhouse campaign, and usually recruited unmarried member to serve as secretary or treasurer of the club's finances.(Theodora Penny Martin, "The Sound of Our Own Voices: Women's Study Clubs 1860-1910", Beacon Press, 1987, page 132). The FMC's previous clubhouse was at the same location; a Mission style 2-story building that cost them $25,000 to build in 1900. When WWI swelled their numbers far beyond the capacity of that building, they dismantled it, sold it with its furnishings to the Catholic Woman's Club, and built the current 6-story Italian Renaissance structure. Its two auditorea and seating for almost 2,000 made it suitable to the Friday Morning Club's popular arts and theater programs in the 1920s and 30s and also for the edifice's current occupation as the Variety Arts Theater, for rent for productions, filming and events. The Friday Morning Club's women continued to meet and serve society from their rented quarters on Wilshire Blvd. until the 1990s.[5] Today, the Ebell of Los Angeles is the largest functioning woman's department club in the city, with 400 members serving in a large 1927 clubhouse in Hancock Park.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ Scott, Anne Firor. Natural allies: women's associations in American history. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991.
  3. ^ Christman, Anastasia J. The best laid plans: women's clubs and city planning in Los Angeles, 1890-1930. Los Angeles: UMI, 2000.
  4. ^ Blair, Karen J. The Torchbearers: Women and their amateur arts associations in America, 1890-1930. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994
  5. ^ Lewis, Roselle M. (November 17, 1985). "Venerable Friday Morning Club Pulls Up Stakes". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8/12/14.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

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