Ebell of LA front entrance

Ebell Friends

History & Restoration

The Ebell of Los Angeles was founded in 1894 by a small group of women determined to advance women’s opportunities in education, civic improvement and “in every branch of culture.” In 1926, the 3,000 members realized an audacious plan to construct a grand new campus on a barely developed stretch of Wilshire Boulevard. The elegant Italian Renaissance campus and the 1,200 seat Wilshire Ebell Theatre were designed by architect Sumner P. Hunt and embody the vision and aspirations of Ebell members past and present.  It is the oldest women’s facility in Los Angeles still functioning under the same auspices for which it was created: Philanthropy, Culture and Education.

The Ebell, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, is an 83,000 square foot multi-level and multi-dimensional complex that contains an abundance of architectural spaces and materials which need careful attention to preserve its historic and functional use. Nearly 100 years old, and almost completely original, the facility needs the proper care and attention it deserves.  Ebell Friends is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of this historic site.

The Ebell continues to empower, engage and serve its diverse membership and the Los Angeles community through programs, events, civic meetings and multiple philanthropies. 


Preservation Master Plan


For the execution of our Preservation Master Plan to restore and preserve our campus, The Ebell is partnering with Historic Resources Group and Drisko Studio Architects.

About Historic Resources Group
Founded in 1989 by Ebell Member Christy McAvoy, Historic Resources (HRG) is an architectural consulting firm specializing in creating historic rehabilitation plans for commercial projects and nonprofits. HRG’s clients include the Annenberg Community Beach House, Greystone Manor, The Wallis Annenberg Community Center, and The Forum. For The Ebell, HRG will update our existing Historic Structures Report to include a rehabilitation and maintenance plan. For more information about HRG’s vision and completed projects, you can visit their website.

About Drisko Studio Architects
Drisko Studio Architects is an architectural design firm dedicated to celebrating and preserving heritage spaces. Lead by Kaitlin Drisko, the team combines cutting edge technology with a deep appreciation for preserving history. Visit their website to view Drisko Studio’s portfolio and get a peek into their process.

performance in Library

Historical Designations


City of Los Angeles Designation
The Ebell of Los Angeles was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1982. (LAHCM #250)

Federal Designation – National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Ebell was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. (National Register Information System ID: 94000401)

National Treasure – In 1999, The Ebell of Los Angeles is designated as an Official American Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Council.

1,000 Places Where Women Made History
The Ebell of Los Angeles is included in the 1,000+ Places Where Women Made History, compiled The National Trust for Historic Preservation  in honor of the centennial of US Women’s suffrage.