In 1971, a group of visionary women founded San Francisco's Women's Centers (SFWC) to incubate emerging Bay Area women's projects.
The first offices on Brady Street soon grew too small for the volume of work that they took on, such as, publishing a newsletter, staffing a community switchboard, and organizing activist groups. In 1979, SFWC purchased Dovre Hall, a former Sons of Norway meeting hall and neighborhood bar. They then transformed it into the first woman-owned and operated community center in the country, The Women's Building.
Since then, The Women's Building (TWB) has sponsored over 170 emerging organizations, many growing into established non-profits, such as, La Casa de las Madres, San Francisco's first shelter for battered women; The Women's Foundation of California; and Lavender Youth Recreation & Information Center (LYRIC).
In 1999, TWB underwent an extensive renovation and seismic retrofitting, reopening in September of 2000. We estimate that over 20,000 people pass through the doors every year to take advantage of a variety of services or events.
Read about The Women's Building Mural MaestraPeace