The Minerva Club, Santa Maria, California
The Minerva Club was first organized in 1894 as the Ladies' Literary Society of Santa Maria, whose members gathered to discuss literature and raise money for a circulating library. The organization was instrumental in incorporating Santa Maria as a city in 1905, so that philanthropist Andrew Carnegie would honor their request for funds to build a town library. The public library opened four years later, enriched with funds and books donated by the group that had renamed itself in honor of founding member Minerva Thornburgh.
After a lot at Lincoln and Boone streets was donated by the Goodwin family for a permanent clubhouse, the Minerva Club contacted Julia Morgan, who had been recommended by a Santa Barbara friend. Morgan submitted two different plans for the clubhouse, for which she was paid $630. Construction began in June of 1928, with a gala open house upon completion that October.
The Minerva Club building features custom-designed ceramic tiles for the fireplace, exposed hardwood ceiling trusses, lavish use of natural wood for the interiors, and terra cotta urns at the front entrance. Minerva Club members raise scholarship money for students at Hancock Community College and still meet in their custom-designed clubhouse, which was placed on National Register of Historic Places in 1984.