The Italian Villa-styled Womens Club of Pittsfield has housed the meetings, activities, and social programs of the Pittsfield Womens Club since 1937. Originally constructed in 1865 for a prominent Pittsfield businessman, the building passed through various owners until 1937, when Simon England purchased and donated the house to the Womens Club in memory of his wife, Frances. The Pittsfield Womens Club was founded in 1890 as the Business Womens Club, but changed its title to its present name in 1909. The presence of a womans club in Pittsfield near the turn of the century mirrored nationwide trends. In nearly every village, town, and city in the nation in the 19th century, middle-class white women founded local clubs to serve as centers for literary and cultural exchange. At the time, men had clubs to which they went throughout the day, and as women became more interested in issues such as suffrage, temperance, and education, they formed similar clubs to serve their own social needs. The club members most often built or purchased club buildings as central meeting places for dialogue and education, and often were a good source of commissions for women architects. Called A Home Away From Home, the members of the Pittsfield Womens Club have been and remain active in the community, offering educational, recreational, and support programs to its members.
Pittsfield Women's Club
Courtesy of Robert Boland.
The Pittsfield Women's Club is located at 42 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, MA. The property is not open to the public, although community women interested in joining the Women's Club are welcome to visit.
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