The Woman’s Club of Fort Worth – Pennsylvania

Women from eleven social and study groups, some formed before 1900, joined in 1923 to create the Woman’s Club of Fort Worth. Miss Anna Shelton, a prominent businesswoman, led the unification drive and served as the first president of the club (1923-1939). The charter members met initially in a house donated by Etta O. (Mrs. William G.) Newby. As the club grew, it acquired and constructed other buildings, and today occupies the entire block bounded by Pennsylvania, Lake, Tucker, and Ballinger. The organization performs many civic, charitable and educational activities, and maintains a Texana library collection. A distinguished lecture program begun in the 1930s has brought to Fort Worth such speakers as Gertrude Stein, Amelia Earhart and Sinclair Lewis. Membership in 1975 totaled about 3000. The club received an Official Texas Historical Marker in 1976.

The Club’s holdings include four historic houses and three newer structures, all but one of which face the north side of the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. The buildings are unified visually by a uniform application of white paint and well-maintained landscaping. Constructed between c. 1903 and 1949, they represent a cross-section of designs by a number of Fort Worth’s most prominent architects. As a group, they may be eligible for the National Register, both for their architectural distinction and for their association with a culturally significant woman’s organization. A detailed analysis of the architectural integrity of each structure will be required, however, to assess the group’s eligibility. Individual resources of the group are addressed below.

The buildings of the Woman’s Club were designated as Historic and Cultural Landmarks in 1990.

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