Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced today that the Bradenton Woman’s Club and Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club have been listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
“We are thrilled that the Bradenton Woman’s Club and Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Secretary Lee. “Florida’s collection of historic Woman’s Clubs provides a tangible connection to the ways in which Florida’s women organized and served their communities from the early 20th century forward.”
The Bradenton Woman’s Club, located in Manatee County, is a Colonial Revival-style building constructed in 1921. It was designed by architect Fred W. Kermode who also designed the Palmetto Woman’s Club in 1930, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 6, 1986. The Bradenton Woman’s Club’s Colonial Revival design is distinctive for its period of construction during the Florida Land Boom, when Mediterranean Revival architecture was at its most popular in the state of Florida.
For a number of years after construction, the Bradenton Woman’s Club was the only public facility in Bradenton large enough to accommodate the diverse needs of the community. It is the only Woman’s Club in Florida to have a mezzanine with an open two-story meeting space.
The Bradenton Woman’s Club was founded in March 1913 by 16 women aiming to improve the quality of life in Bradenton. By the early 1920s, the club had grown sufficiently to require an event space.
The Bradenton Woman’s Cub became known as a frequent home for bridge tournaments, and the organization was integral in the establishment of Bradenton’s first baseball diamond and first public playground. The building has undergone only minor alterations since its completion, and has been restored from the damage done to the building by Hurricane Irma in 2017. It continues to serve the Bradenton Woman’s Club and the local community.
The Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club, located in Broward County, was constructed in 1917 and has been home to club meetings and events for more than 100 years. Prominent settler Ivy Stranahan was one of the club’s founders, served as its first president and also donated the land for the clubhouse. Stranahan played an instrumental role in the progression of the City of Fort Lauderdale regarding educational rights, women’s rights, African American rights and Native American rights.
The Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club is significant as a meeting place for the members of the Woman’s Club and the public because it is a place that sparked social, political and educational change. The Fort Lauderdale Woman’s Club was a vital presence in the Fort Lauderdale community during the first half of the 20th century because it was a safe place for women to speak their minds, voice their concerns, talk about women’s and social issues and learn skills such as quilting, sewing, first-aid, hygiene and nutrition.
Today, the building still serves the Woman’s Club members as their monthly meeting space and is a popular rental venue for fundraisers, weddings and other local events.
About The National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is a list maintained by the National Park Service which includes historical or archaeological properties including buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts, that are considered worthy of preservation because of their local, statewide and/or national significance. Nominations for properties in Florida are submitted to the National Park Service through the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources. Florida has over 1,700 listings on the National Register, including 295 historic districts and 175 archaeological sites. There are more than 50,000 sites contributing to the National Register in Florida. For more information, visit flheritage.com/preservation/national-register. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places program administered by the National Park Service, visit nps.gov/nr.
About The Florida Department of State’s Bureau of Historic Preservation
The Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP) conducts historic preservation programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, preserving and interpreting the historic and cultural resources of the state. The Bureau manages the Florida Main Street Program, and under federal and state laws, oversees the National Register of Historic Places program for Florida, maintains an inventory of the state’s historical resources in the Florida Master Site File, assists applicants in federal tax benefit and local government ad valorem tax relief programs for historic buildings, and reviews the impact that development projects may have on significant historic resources. For more information, visit flheritage.com/preservation.