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La Jolla Woman's Club

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (National Register of Historic Places)

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The La Jolla Woman's Club held its first annual meeting in 1914. This building had been constructed in two years by New York born Irving Gil who did most of his work in Southern California. The Club was in full operational until the 1970s. While some meetings are still held today, there also public activities such as yoga, picnics and weddings held here. This building is considered one of Gil's most successful work.

La Jolla's Woman's Club pic, circa 1914-1915
Irving Gil
The building in 1971
Members of the Woman's Club prepare for their production of Romeo and Juliet, circa 1920
Construction of the building
The Woman's Club at the cornerstone laying in 1913
Part of the Woman's Club building as it looks today

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The La Jolla Woman's Club was founded in 1894 as the Current Events Club, taking its present name in 1900. The social club was without a permanent home for the first twenty years of its existence. The cornerstone of the building was laid in December 1913, with the inaugural meeting held in 1914.

The site, design, and construction of the clubhouse were all donated to the La Jolla Woman's Club by philanthropist and club member Ellen Browning Scripps. The project cost a total of $40,000. The building is a prime example of Irving Gill's modern style, exemplified by simple geometrical shapes, and generous use of arches and columnns, with a minimum of ornamentation. This style has been described as "shaved Spanish," as it owes much to the colonial Spanish architecture of southern California - and in particular the California missions - with an emphasis on flat rooflines, and lack of frills. The building also was a product of Gill's experimentation with the concrete "tilt-wall" construction method, in which concrete slabs were poured in place onto a large table positioned at a fifteen-degree angle. After it was set, the wall was lifted into place, and windows fitted into it. The interior of the building also showcases Gill's interest in sanitation: there are no baseboards, mouldings, or other design details, as Gill believed that these features trapped dust and dirt. The La Jolla Woman's Club has been called one of Gill's most successful works.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and is one of several notable Gill-designed buildings in La Jolla, along with The Bishop's School and the La Jolla Recreation Center. The clubhouse is open to visitors on Saturdays from 9:00 am to noon.

Sources

Hines, Thomas S. (2000). Irving Gill and the Architecture of Reform: A Study in Modernist Architectural Culture. Monacelli. 

Kamerling, Bruce (1993). Irving J. Gill, Architect. San Diego Historical Society.

McCoy, Esther (1960). Five California Architects. Reinhold Publishing.

 Who's Who Among the Women of California. 1922. p.86.

LeBlanc, Sydney. The Architecture Traveler: A Guide to 250 Key Twentieth-Century American Buildings. 2000. p. 24.


Address
7791 Draper Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone Number
858-454-2354
Tags
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Urban History
  • Women’s History
This location was created on 2017-04-11 by Mike Emett .

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