The Monday Club, San Luis Obispo, California
On November 17, 1924 two small women’s organizations in San Luis Obispo, a book club and a home cultural club, met and decided to unite to form a new organization that would promote cultural and social welfare in San Luis Obispo. The 26 members present at the meeting agreed to serve as charter members of the new club. On September 14, 1925, the Monday Club began its first complete club year.
Interest in the Monday Club grew rapidly and by 1928, with a paid membership of 350, club members recognized the need for a clubhouse of their own.
Miss Grace Barneberg, Monday Club president from 1926-1928, was impressed by the YWCAs and women’s clubhouses Julia Morgan had designed in the Bay Area. Barneberg recommended that the board contact the San Francisco architect, who was often in the area as she worked on William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon Ranch. Steve Zegar, who regularly drove Morgan back and forth from the train station in San Luis Obispo to San Simeon, introduced the two women.
Morgan inspected the lot on Monterey Street that the board had purchased and consented to design a clubhouse without charge, in return for Monday Club members arranging her room and board when she came to San Luis Obispo. The club ladies were delighted to help and took turns welcoming Miss Morgan into their homes.
The Monday Club is an accomplished building in the Arts and Crafts style, with the attention to detail typical of Morgan’s work. The interior was designed to suggest a garden gazebo, with an awning over the stage area and light fixtures resembling Chinese lanterns. Fond of the loquat trees that grew near the site, Morgan retained San Francisco painter Doris Day to include them in her murals for the main hall.
The clubhouse was dedicated on May 11, 1934. Monday Club members continue to advance the goals of the founders, to enhance the educational, civic, social and cultural quality of the San Luis Obispo community.