Members of the Ohio Valley District Association of Colored Women's Clubs recently viewed a film of its National Headquarters Building at 1607 R St., N.W., Washington, D.C.
The film showing took place at Eastern Gateway Community College where the committee in charge of the event included Millicent Slaughter, Ohio Valley Association district president; Soundra Palmer, immediate past district president; Mary Hunt, a member of the Nimble Thimble Club; Carol Simmons, a member of LaFemme Progressive Club; Chryle Gory, district corresponding secretary; Rose Slaughter, state executive board of directors; and Patricia Fletcher, past national president.
The building originally was built in the 1800s as the French Embassy and has received community and D.C. Historic Preservation approval.
Long and narrow by design and measuring 20 feet by 100 feet, the building is five stories above grade with a basement. The focal point of the interior includes a four-story winding stair which has been extended to the fifth floor.
It was purchased in 1954 by the National Association of Colored Women's Club Inc. as the organization's new national headquarters. In 1973 the building was rented out and used as a popular private social club. During Fletcher's presidential administration, the restoration and renovation were completed in 2000, and the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs Inc. re-established the building as national headquarters and administrative offices.
The renovation included architectural and engineering services for the conversion of the six-story building. Installation of an elevator to operate from the basement to the fifth floor, entrance, restrooms, hardware, doors and other components meet all American and Disabilities Act requirements.
The National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. Inc. is America's oldest black women's organization. Federated club work and community service go hand in hand. Every NACWC club must have as a basis for operation the needs and interests of its community. Community service is the core of club life.
"Our concern does not stop at the local level," a club spokeswoman said. "Federated clubs have a responsibility to support their state, regional and national components from which they receive their identity, strength and unity."
Its motto is "Lifting as We Climb Through Deeds, Not Words."
A fellowship hour followed the viewing with refreshments served.