Started in 1945 by Fannie Williams and Della Williams, The Wifandel Club is the oldest African-American women's club in Los Angeles. It's also considered a historically vital institution and event space dedicated to Black femininity in Los Angeles, CA's Sugar Hill West Adams district.
The Wifandel Club, located on Adams and 5th Avenue and renovated by Architect Paul R. Williams (Della Williams' Husband), is a beautiful residence from the early 1900s. A white, terracotta tile-roofed Mediterranean Revival residence - the Wifandel Club formed and convened 51 well-resourced Black Los Angeles women that sought to promote "civic betterment, philanthropic endeavors, and general culture."
Since its founding, the Wifandel Club had carved out its space during a time when affluent Black Americans in the city of Angels had so few meeting spaces - outside of the church to call their own - and organized around common goals and interests. The Wifandel club originated out of that need.
Purchased in full by its 10th anniversary, the Wifandel Club building was known to host lavish weddings, holding farewell parties for young African-American men who went off to fight America's wars or for young people leaving to attend college. In addition, the Wilfandel Club House was one of the few integrated public meeting places in Los Angeles during the 1950s.
Today, nearly 80 years after its founding, the Wifandel Club seeks preservation as a Historical national place. In addition, it is actively recruiting members and desires to stay relevant to younger generations and extend the mission of its founders.
The Wifandel Club is a vital institution and Black space dedicated to Black womanhood. And preserving it and its legacy is of the utmost importance - primarily when chronicling the contributions of Black women to the social, racial, and political landscapes of Los Angeles, CA.
“History | Wilfandel Club House of Los Angeles.” The Wilfandel Club, www.wilfandelclub.com/history. Accessed 22 Jan. 2023.
“The Lasting Legacy of Los Angeles’s Oldest Black Women’s Club, Wilfandel Club.” Veranda, 22 Apr. 2021, www.veranda.com/home-decorators/a36082845/wilfandel-club.
“A Storied Los Angeles Club for African American Women Looks to the Future | National Trust for Historic Preservation.” A Storied Los Angeles Club for African American Women Looks to the Future | National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1 Jan. 2019, savingplaces.org/stories/a-storied-los-angeles-club-for-african-american-women-looks-to-the-future?fbclid=IwAR0PJsLup4fVgCUeqpdryhbaY94a0sZdi2PG7QdMIswduAljLfpGNbY2vOI.