Mary Westmoreland – President of BWC
Bronxville Women’s Club, Inc. founded 1925.
Right here in greater Eastchester there is a gem piece of architecture, and a part of women’s history, which often goes unnoticed – The Anna Lawrence Bisland 1928 House at the corner of Midland & Tanglewylde Avenues in Bronxville. Why unnoticed, well this very large building, designed by noted architect Penrose Stout with an elegant cottage feel from the curbside view, was masterfully designed to gently fit into a developing residential neighborhood.
Bronxville’s Anna Lawrence Bisland was a civic and philanthropic minded leader, suffragette and the club’s first president. This beautiful building, flooded with natural light on two levels, is one of the area’s few structures listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It embodies both graceful design and functionality from its main room, commonly called the ballroom, blessed with near perfect acoustics and serving as a theater, concert, dance, conference and lecture hall, even balls and weddings. The building also offers smaller, cozier rooms always buzzing with book discussions, art shows, education or simply a place to relax.
There is more to this structure than meets the casual observer’s eye. It is the spirit and depth of history of the women who led this organization and whose successors today continue the core missions and welcome new members from any community. The Bronxville Women’s Club once boasted a thousand member roster. Today the numbers are small, not by design, but by social and economic changes although those numbers are changing again. Today more women are employed, they can select from an array of educational opportunities and have many organizations to choose from. One thing remains unchanged, the BWC doors are open to all ages, new talents, skills and interests to be explored or shared. Often enhanced by enjoyable luncheons, receptions and always interesting conversations, educational forums, guest experts and the nurturing and understanding of differing perspectives.
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