The Stratford House

photostratfordhouseMeeting weekly, in various places, with a rapid increase in membership, the need for a permanent home became evident. In 1903, the “Club House Association,” a stock company within the Club was organized for the purpose of acquiring a suitable clubhouse. Shares of stock were issued at ten dollars a share, each member taking as many shares as she could afford, to be held until such time as the Club could buy back all the shares. In 1903, the first lot was purchased for $3,000.

In 1905, after two years of work and planning, the cornerstone was laid for Stratford House with the words “May it be set in truth and sincerity, and cemented with good will.” The contract price for the building, including the plumbing was $8,843. The cost of painting, lighting and heating was assumed by the Club. The finished clubhouse was valued at $15,000. It was with great pride, in 1913, that the title was cleared to Stratford House, the goal that 500 members had been working toward for almost ten years.

With the membership growing rapidly, it was soon realized that more room would be needed. So, in 1916, an adjoining lot was purchased for $4,356.25. In 1924, ground was broken for a new auditorium. A mortgage was assumed for $100,000 to be paid off at the rate of $5,000 a year. On Presidents’ Day, 1924, William Shakespeare Auditorium was dedicated.

In 1971, with Pasadena having grown and closed in around the area of the Clubhouse, the time had come to make a move and the Clubhouse was sold. In the fall of 1972, the Club moved into its new home, the lovely old Italian villa on South Grand Avenue, the Everett House.