The Furies Collective
The Furies Collective house is directly connected with the early expression and definition of the character, role, and ideology of the lesbian community in DC.
The row house at 219 11th Street SE, historically home to the Furies Collective, is a two-story, early 20th-century brick dwelling located in the Capitol Hill Historic District. Built in 1913, the house is one of a pair of dwellings in a block of other 19th and 20th century row houses.
The Furies Collective was a social and political community within the second wave women’s movement in the early 1970s. Through its national print materials and local services, the group modeled the intents and challenges of lesbians through a separatist philosophy. The center of their activities as a collective between 1971 and 1973, during the publication of the lesbian/feminist issue of the Methodist youth magazine motive and as they published their own newspaper, The Furies, was in this row house. Both motive and The Furies were crucial in establishing a lesbian community and sparking a conversation about women's identities and relationships.
The story of 219 11th Street SE’s role in feminism and lesbianism doesn’t end with The Furies. In later years, it remained linked to significant elements of DC's lesbian feminist community. After Judy Winsett and Leslie Reeves established themselves as makers of silver jewelry and opened a shop, Lammas, a few blocks away, the large basement room in this house served as their jewelry-making studio. An upstairs neighbor operated a book distribution service from the second floor of the building, and her service eventually began stocking books in the new Lammas downstairs. Over the course of its first few years, the character of Lammas changed from a women’s jewelry shop to a woman-focused book shop and center for women’s activities. Lammas Women’s Shop became a feminist and lesbian bookstore and eventually a de facto lesbian community center. The business venture endured until finally closing in 2001 at its 17th Street NW location.
DC Inventory: January 28, 2016
National Register: May 2, 2016
Within Capitol Hill Historic District