The Woman's Building
In 1973, three trailblazing women – Judy Chicago, Arlene Raven, and Sheila Levrant de Bretteville – created the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW), the first independent art school for women.
FSW operated out of the 1914 Beaux Arts building at 1727 North Spring Street from 1975 until its closure in 1991. The nonprofit center was known as The Woman’s Building in reference to the creative achievements and autonomy of female artists.
Throughout its eighteen-year run, The Woman's Building cultivated an experimental space for women from around the world to explore ideas in feminist theory and sexuality through art. Artists whose work may have been marginalized in other venues found a platform for expressing political goals and viewpoints.
The very notion of a public space for female artists underscored the existence of a distinctive “women’s culture” in the 1970s and ‘80s, one that grappled with dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, and class to varying degrees.
The Woman's Building currently has no landmark designations recognizing its important history. We recently nominated this building for Historic-Cultural Monument designation, and the nomination is now being considered. On March 15, the City of L.A.'s Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) voted in full support of our nomination and it now goes to the City Council for review. Please email your letters of support for the nomination and attend the City Council's upcoming Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) meeting where the nomination will be heard next. See the "How You Can Help" tab for details.
The Woman's Building is one of the sites featured in our LGBTQ Historic Places in L.A. short film project. Watch the short film below to hear first-hand accounts from two of the artists involved with FSW and learn more about this site's important history.
Support the landmark nomination of The Woman's Building!
Good news! On Thursday, March 15 the City of L.A.'s Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) voted in full support of the Conservancy's Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) nomination for The Woman's Building. The CHC's recommendation will now be forwarded to the City Council and its Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee and an upcoming meeting. We will post details as soon as a meeting date is set.
Please voice your support for landmarking The Woman's Building!
Please email your comments in support of landmark designation to:
Senior Planning Deputy
Councilmember Gil Cedillo
Please copy firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can track progress. Thank you!