The 640 HPF was incorporated and received its tax exempt status in 2004 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation, its specific charitable and educational purposes are to preserve and memorialize the history and architecture of woman’s athletic clubs in San Francisco.
The Foundation’s Purposes from the Articles of Incorporation
General Purposes: This corporation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law of the State of California, and is organized for public and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
Specific Purposes: The specific purposes of this corporation are:
• To preserve and memorialize the history and architecture of woman’s athletic clubs in San Francisco;
• To research, restore and ensure the preservation of the buildings, land and other articles which may relate to the history of woman’s athletic clubs in San Francisco, with particular reference to the Woman’s* Athletic Club of San Francisco, now known as the Metropolitan Club of San Francisco, located at 640 Sutter Street, San Francisco;
• To hold meetings and other activities for instruction and information on the various purposes enumerated in the Articles of Incorporation;
• To accept donations of money, real property, or other property for the above purposes;
• And to carry on other charitable and educational activities associated with these purposes as allowed by law.
* Note: The original Club’s name used woman’s as the singular possessive form. So anytime the historic name is used it is spelled in this way.
The Foundation’s Mission
The mission of the 640 Heritage Preservation Foundation is:
To preserve and celebrate the history, architecture, and heritage of women’s athletic clubs in San
Francisco, with particular reference to the Woman’s Athletic Club of San Francisco, now known as
the Metropolitan Club, through research, public education and funding activities.
The Foundation’s Vision for the Future
The 640 Heritage Preservation Foundation:
• Provides for the ongoing preservation and restoration of the historic building at 640 Sutter Street; and
• Supports the research, documentation, and education on the history of the women’s club movement in San Francisco.
The Metropolitan Club Legacy
The Metropolitan Club was founded in the early 1900’s by a group of visionary women who made plans for an elegant athletic club for women in San Francisco. Initial plans included well-appointed dining rooms, a pool, gymnasium, beauty salon, and spa and overnight rooms.
By 1915, their vision became a reality. A site was selected, architects hired and the building was constructed. The Metropolitan Club’s success was immediate; a second wing was added in 1923.
The seventeen Founders created a legacy that has secured its place in San Francisco, California, and the United States’ diverse history.
Historic Importance of the Metropolitan Club
The “House that Women Built” at 640 Sutter Street has nearly reached its 102nd year and is widely recognized for its architectural significance. The City of San Francisco considers it a Category 1 historic building and an “A” rating was bestowed by San Francisco Architectural Heritage.
The Metropolitan Club has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes the most important sites in the United States. It is recognized not only for its architecture but also as the first woman’s athletic club west of the Mississippi River.
The Metropolitan Club played an important role in the club movement and provided an outlet to women for self-improvement, education, and civic influence when many other routes to these opportunities were closed to them.