Friday, June 17, 2011

Park Street Women's Center

Park Street Women's Center (1970-1975)
Park Street Women's Center

Location: 414 North Park Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Founded: 1970

Closed: 1975

Here at Lost Womyn's Space, I haven't even started to tackle the hundreds of women's centers that sprung up in the 1970s, only to be lost in a few short years due to lack of funding or loss of space (lost lease, eviction, building sold by owner, etc.)

The first one we'll look at is Park Street Women's Center. Why? Because I haven't featured any lost womyn's spaces from Indiana yet. And because somebody else did all the research, and there are times I just get lazy. During those times, I'm happy to share other people's work (with full credit, mind you). This write-up is from, one of my favorite places on the web: 

A Women’s Center operated out of a rented house at 414 North Park Avenue in Bloomington starting in 1970, and published a feminist newsletter called The Front Door. The Park Street Women’s Center served as a staging ground for many feminist actions, as well as a social gathering spot for lesbian meet-and-greets and support groups. It was part of a broader effort to establish alternative institutions, such as the cooperative day care center organized by women’s liberationists at the Unitarian Church in 1970, and the Bloomington Women’s Health Collective organized at the Park Street House in 1972, which put into practice many of the ideals espoused by the path-breaking new book from the Boston Women’s Health Collective, Our Bodies, Our Selves. Women Against Rape formed at Park Street House, and operated the Women’s Crisis Center rape help line. The Park Street Women’s Center closed abruptly in 1975 when the house was sold.

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