Club Chronicles: General Federation of Women’s Clubs operates from D.C.
In 1901 the 56th U.S. Congress granted GFWC a federal charter, which stipulated it maintain its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
GFWC maintained temporary war service and editorial offices in the nation’s capital during World War I, and in 1920 it adopted a resolution to establish permanent headquarters in Washington, D.C., that would “be commensurate with the dignity, size and influence of the organization.”
In 1922 GFWC clubwomen purchased the historic Victorian style mansion in the fashionable Dupont Circle neighborhood as its headquarters. This National Historic Landmark has been maintained through generous contributions from club members and friends of the Federation.
Today the headquarters serves as the working offices for the GFWC international president and staff, but it is so much more. It is also the home of the Women’s History and Resource Center, which collects, preserves, interprets and promotes the history of the GFWC and women volunteers, and it is also used for the GFWC board of directors meetings, conferences and receptions.
Over the years many national and international political officials have attended meetings and socials at the GFWC Headquarters.
The headquarters is the literal home to the GFWC international president during her two-year administration, with residences occupying the upper floors. The interior features beautiful antiques and many historic archives.
The headquarters serves as host to events, such as the annual Women’s History Month event and Holiday Open House. The Federation’s property also houses the popular Iron Gate Inn Restaurant.
With nearly 80,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state, the District of Columbia and more than a dozen countries, GFWC members work in their own communities to support the arts, preserve natural resources, advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, encourage civic involvement and work toward world peace and understanding.
Club Chronicles is written by Susie Hovater Malone.