Pillar #7

The Revival Begins

During the last half of the 20th century, women increasingly entered the paid workforce and interest in women’s clubs declined. By 2003, only three elderly members, Josie Languish, Eunice Hunter, and Noreen Bobear, remained. They worked to keep the house afloat by offering rentals. In 2003, a group of women attended an event at the club and became inspired to revive the organization. In recent years membership has grown rapidly and a growing number of people have contributed to reviving the Club. The ”Revived and Thriving” celebration was held on April 11, 2024, to honor Assembly Member Patricia Fahy, former Assembly Member John McEneny and the Bender Family Foundation, and to recognize major achievements of the past two decades.

Excerpt from "Woman's Club of Albany’s future looked precarious for a while" - The Daily Gazette, by Bill Buell. June 6, 2010. Read the whole article here

As longtime treasurer of The Woman’s Club of Albany, Josie Languish was well aware that things weren’t looking so good.

“One year I had 19 dollars and 27 cents in the treasury,” said Languish, who turned 100 last week, shortly before the club itself celebrates its centennial on Friday. “That’s as low as it got. Then we only had a few members left. People died, they moved away, they just quit. I just thought, ‘Oh well, we’ll make it up again,’ and we did.”

From Marilyn Hunter, daughter-in-law of Eunice Hunter, and active WCA member

"My husband and I lived through those years with her as she completely devoted her days, weeks and months to the Club. She was the last working President who, along with two or three other women, all in their late 90s, held the club together. She did not allow the clubhouse to deteriorate. She wrote letters and visited with the then-Mayor, educating him and others about the value and history of the WCA and the house itself.  We would not have the club today if she had not cared so much to preserve it!"

Josie Languish and Pattie Beeler, 2012

On April 27, 2009, the Club celebrated the 5th anniversary of its renaissance and the grand opening of its newly refurbished ballroom.

Strategic Planning Effort August 2010

Excerpt from "Rebuilt to last" by Dan Howley, Times Union, Nov. 4, 2007

In October of 2003, El Loco restaurant owner Marcia Tolive rented the club's home to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her eatery. Before then, she didn't know much about the women's [sic] club, but she quickly fell in love with the home. Tolive banded together with friends, including state Supreme Court Justice Leslie Stein and former Rensselaer County Family Court Chief Patricia Beeler to help find a way to save the house and revitalize the club. 

Clockwise from top: Janet Wikoff, Julianne McCarthy, Lois Busch, Sue Hannon and Virginia Leonard

The Woman's Club of Albany

725 Madison Avenue • Albany • New York • 12208



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