The Woman's Building
On June 8, 2018 the Los Angeles City Council voted to declare Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) designation for The Woman's Building. This ensures protection and a design review process for the building should there ever be a project or modifications proposed.
Many thanks to the community members who have supported our nomination by attending hearings, testifying, writing letters of support, and spreading the word! We could not have accomplished this result without the overall passion you brought for The Woman’s Building and all that it represents. The Conservancy especially wants to thank Councilmember Gil Cedillo for his strong support of the nomination.
The Woman's Building is highly significant as the longtime home of 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 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.
The Conservancy nominated The Woman's Building for designation at a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument to recognize its significance as the longtime home of the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW), the first independent art school for women.