GFWC Florida 1895 Society
On February 23, 1895, Miss Penelope Borden Hamilton, was persuded to heat the reactivated Village Improvement Association, inviting other organizations to attend this meeting and organized the Florida Federation of Woman’s Club (FFWC).
In 1952, FFWC President Mrs. Walter Jones saw the need for a permanent HQ and planned for such. In 1954, at it’s 59th Convention, FFWC members approved a motion to have a state HQ and to appoint an architect to draw plans for the proposed home. The city of Lakeland presented FFWC with the site, under a 99-year lease, and financing was envisioned by voluntary assessment of $1.oo per club member. In 1956, the HQ building was completed and dedicated in Lakeland in a building overlooking Lake Mary.
In the late 80’s, the Federation was forced to give up its building when its property lease was taken back by the city of Lakeland.
During the term of FFWC President Jimmie Smith, however, a new lot was purchased. In 1988, FFWC was awarded $208,000, less $8,000 in legal fees, as a judgement entered by the circuit court of Polk county regarding condemnation action by the City of Lakeland in taking back our lease.
This headquarters building was designed and built by Warren H. Smith, Architect, Inc. and was debt free.
The new GFWC Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs headquarters located at 4444 Florida National Dive in Lakeland was dedicated on May 6, 1990.
The building presently houses the President’s meeting room, our office, a board room for meetings, archive storage, a living room, kitchen bathroom and storage room.
In 2008, President Pat Keel and her executive committee established the 1895 Society to “Preserve our Past and Ensuring our Future” by raising funds for headquarter improvements.
Generous donations from members and clubs and anticipated ongoing support to the 1895 Society, will enable us to continue maintaining and improving our headquarters into the future.