Woman's Club can rebuild, but with new restrictions

The Woman's Club of Huntington Beach can build a new structure on the spot where its clubhouse burned down, but city codes would prevent it from being a replica of the original building.

City spokeswoman Laurie Frymire said a new clubhouse could have architectural similarities to the old one, but would require additional on-site parking as well as greater setbacks.

The building would also be subject to fire and building code requirements, although officials have not determined what changes that would necessitate, Frymire said.

Woman's Club members are still deciding on their next steps.

Vice President Elaine Craft noted that many people had called the club's leaders offering to donate meeting space or other services.

"I think it is heartening to see people care like that," Craft said.

The 101-year-old structure caught fire early April 30 and burned nearly to the ground. Many artifacts, including paper records and an antique piano and kitchenware, are presumed lost.

One item that did survive the blaze, though not without damage, is the wooden sign reading "Woman's Club of Huntington Beach" that hung over the front door.

President Jackie Judd said the club may use it again if it builds a new facility.

"The wood is old, and there is some fire damage, but we might be able to find a place for it, just for old time's sake," she said.

Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Lopez said Tuesday that the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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