“Woman’s Century Club” may remain engraved on the Harvard Exit for years to come, but the women of 124-year-old organization have left the building.
On Friday, the Woman’s Century Club will hold its annual organizing meeting — the first in decades to be held without the group’s Harvard and E Roy home. The meeting will take place at The Dearborn House, the club’s new base on First Hill. The 1907-built Spring and Minor house serves as the full-time headquarters for Historic Seattle.
The Harvard Exit was originally built as the Women’s Century clubhouse in 1925 and was transformed into a movie theater in 1968. Through an agreement with theater owners, the club continued to meet monthly in the building’s lobby until last month, after developer Scott Shapiro bought the Exit to transform it into an office and restaurant project. The Exit’s last film showed on January 8th.
Given that the modern-day club only used the space a few hours a month, club president Mimi Sheridan is confident the roughly 40-member organization will continue to press on.
“We were tied to it emotionally and it was important part of our history, but we can live on without it,” she said.
In addition to holding monthly events that feature a variety of speakers, the club also sponsors a scholarship program and charity events. During Friday’s annual meeting, Sheridan said the group will discuss plans for the upcoming year, including new programming and the future of the club without the Exit. That future won’t include the Steinway piano that stood for years in the Exit lobby, which the group is now selling.
Shapiro previously told CHS a restaurant or cafe will likely take over the building’s 1,500 square-foot lobby, while he envisioned a bar moving into the 2,200 square-foot basement. The rest of the building will become “creative offices,” including the two 5,000 square-foot theater spaces and two upper floors of existing offices.
Once a restaurant opens, Sheridan said club members hope to make it their unofficial hangout.