looKing BacK

Redondo Beach Woman’s cluB
and the Redwood Clubhouse
written By deniSe Kano
how many clubs can you think of that can claim their membership ranges in age from 30 to 90-something? the woman’s club of redondo Beach, established in 1908, fits this description and continues meeting in their original clubhouse, built in 1992 exclusively for them. on november 6, 1908, a small group of local women wanted to establish the civic tone and cultural life of their redondo Beach community, and they set about organizing the woman’s club of redondo Beach. they created an agenda which included supporting local charities, provide social services through volunteerism, and promote cultural and civic advancement as well as host social events. the club was accepted into the general federation of women’s clubs in 1910, and incorporated on november 7, 1915 under the state laws of california, the california federation of women’s clubs. By 1921, the group was described as “one of the most active factors in the development of the city’s resources, taking part in every issue … for civic betterment.” club members dreamed of building a permanent meeting place and they set about making this happen. at 400 South Broadway stands a single-story, redwood structure that was built in 1922 specifically for the woman’s club, and, amazingly, has remained solely for that purpose. architecturally, the clubhouse reflects the simple, seaside community of early redondo Beach. the redwood board and batten construction is considered an expression of a bungalow tradition, and some architectural historians describe this particular form as the only pure california type. the origins go back to the local steamship trade which imported redwood from the northern california coast. the rectangular-shaped clubhouse has retained its original painted chocolate For more inFormation on the event, and For general club inFormation, go to www.womanscluboFredondobeach.com color, and is finished with redwood on both the exterior and interior. the structure measures approximately 35 feet by 99 feet. the original construction contained a small entry measuring eight feet by 13 feet. the rear porch was added in 1951 and measures five feet by 10 feet. a medium gable roof extends the length of the building featuring three side gables; one over the entry, one over the second story space above the stage, and one over the rear portion. the façade contains four pairs of french windows; each pair topped by a six-light transom in which the glass has been replaced by wood. the six-light transoms are repeated on each side of the auditorium and on the rear. the clubhouse interior features large, exposed beams and rafters. the walls are paneled with redwood curved boards which overlap vertically, and the flooring is hardwood. the clubhouse remains one of the largest examples of the redwood bungalow in the South Bay. the woman’s club meets in their clubhouse on the third monday of the month from September to June to socialize and plan their philanthropies. Both the club and the beautiful clubhouse stand as important and distinguished representations of early redondo Beach. the woman’s club is celebrating 104 years of service this year and on Saturday, may 12, they host their 5th annual community Spaghetti dinner to benefit the redondo Beach firefighter association. the event takes place in their historic clubhouse.


SouthBaydigS.com | 4.06.2012

the original cluBhouSe, Built in 1922.

woman’S cluB factS:
• • in october 1922, the first meeting was held in the new clubhouse. the dianas, an intermediary group, was organized in 1932 for women under the age of 35, after which they would join the woman’s club. the clubhouse was cleared of indebtedness in 1940 and the mortgage was burned. in 1984, the clubhouse was listed as a local landmark in the national registry of historical places.

• •

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