Frances Perkins House

From 1937 to 1940, this was the residence of Frances Perkins, the nation’s first female cabinet member.

Located on a quiet residential street, this 1914 Colonial Revival townhouse is typical of the finely detailed urban residential building constructed in the Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. in the early twentieth century. Frances Perkins long and distinguished career as a social worker and New York State Industrial Commissioner took an important turn for American women, and for the country as a whole, when in 1932 she was appointed U.S. Secretary of Labor, the first woman ever to be included in a president's cabinet.

Perkins remained Secretary of Labor until 1945, one of only two original cabinet members to remain to the end of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency. During her long tenure, particularly in the pre-war New Deal years, she was the prime mover on several pieces of legislation that are among the Democratic Party’s most lasting achievements: the Social Security Act (Perkins chaired the drafting committee), and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which created a minimum wage and restricted child labor nationwide.

National Historic Landmark: July 17, 1991
National Register: July 17, 1991



2326 California Street, NW Washington DC 20008