By Caroline M. Roman
Now that we are finally back from the holidays we wanted to catch you up on a few of our favorite holiday parties. One of the lesser known pearls we have here in Beverly Hills is that of a certain women's club with good roots and big names. The club dates back to 1916 and is aptly called The Beverly Hills Women's Club. In that day, all the ladies of Beverly Hills would actually ride their horse to meetings - as did my Great Godmother, from whom my parents bought their first house on Hazen Drive in 1980. Her stories were my first introduction to the club.
While I was at Harvard-Westlake several mothers had board positions, and when I got back from college on East Coast, my dad had rented a house for a short while next door to their clubhouse located just behind the Beverly Hills Hotel. And by clubhouse I mean an honest to God Beverly Hills prime property members-only clubhouse. There are few social clubs on the West Coast that can boast an actual piece of real estate. There is the Jonathan Club, the California Club and the Los Angeles Club - all downtown and largely geared towards men - meaning the Beverly Hills Women's Club is the only all-womens club in Los Angeles that owns property (tres chic); please do email if I have missed a club.
There was a book I recently read by Leticia Baldridge, former White House social secretary during the JFK years, that detailed the advent of women's clubs in New York City - which all own property, as do the men's clubs and all the university clubs - and the Beverly Hills Women's Club had them all beat by about two decades.
So in case you are wondering how these clubs can afford to own a prohibitive piece of Manhattan, downtown L.A. or Beverly Hills (north of Sunset I might add) real estate... well, it's not easy. It's even debatable. Does a social club really need to own land? Despite that the house has been free and clear now for many years, there is still constant upkeep, maintenance, repairs, staff as needed, gas, water, electricity, decor, insurance, emergencies, property taxes and more. Over the years at the Beverly Hills Women's Club this has been an on-going debate, even creating bad feelings among members and causing several high profile departures in recent years when costs came to a deal-breaking crux. Read the rest on The Daily Truffle
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