The EF focuses its preservation efforts on the WNDC’s landmark, nineteenth century clubhouse. Purchased by the club in 1927, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and is now open to the public as a museum reflecting the changing role of women in public life. The EF’s Historic Preservation Fund helps preserve the building and its collections.
In recent years, the Foundation financed the repair and painting of the exterior trim, the rebuilding of the steps at the front and back of the house and installation of new iron banisters at the entrance, as well as major projects to stop water damage to the building, and repair and repainting afterwards. We funded a fire alarm system; repairs to the roof, antique gutters, and ceiling; and restored an exterior balcony that could no longer be used. As a result of a major contribution to the Foundation, in 2012 we were able to help fund the transformation of the Stevenson Room, where so many of WNDC’s educational programs are held, including a new audio/visual system, lighting, and acoustic improvements.
The WNDC archives are a rich source of materials documenting the club’s history from its founding in 1922 to the present. They contain club records and publications, photographs, political memorabilia, newspaper clippings, portraits, and audio and video tapes of selected WNDC speaker programs. Researchers and scholars from around the nation and the world use the archives and museum memorabilia, such as the club’s holdings on Frances Perkins, FDR’s secretary of Labor and the nation’s first woman cabinet officer.
The EF also maintains a book collection devoted to women’s issues and current affairs, the Eleanor Roosevelt Library.