Contact Us
If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to email us at wia.illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Homepage Fine and Applied Arts Homepage School of Architecture Homepage

Progress and Achievements of Women in Architecture

1869 Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) and her sister Catherine E. Beecher (1800-1878) write the book The American Woman's Home in which they include their detailed home designs that are often ignored by male designers. Learn more
1873 Mary L. Page is first woman to earn an architecture degree in the U.S., graduating from UIUC.
1888 Louise Blanchard Bethune is the first American woman to work as a professional architect. Learn more
1890 Sophia Hayden (1868-1953) is the first woman graduate from MIT's 4-year architecture degree program (with honors).+
1894 Marion Mahony Griffin (1868-1953) is the second graduate of MIT's 4-year architecture degree program. She later becomes the first woman licensed architect to practice in Illinois. Griffin works with Frank Lloyd Wright from 1895-1909 as the Chief Draftperson.+
1898 Julia Morgan is the first woman to be admitted to the l'Ecolde des Beaux Arts architecture program after their initial rejection and then her victories in various competitions. Learn more
1900 There are thus far 39 formal 4-year architectural program woman graduates in the US.+
1903 Mary Rockwell Hook (1877-1978) is the first person to enroll the Chicago Art Institute Architecture Department.+
1910 Half of the architecture programs in the US still deny woman entry.+
1921 Elizabeth Martini forms the Chicago Drafting Club, which later becomes the Women's Architectural Club.+
1923 Alberta Pfeiffer (1899-1994) graduates first in her class from the Univ. of Illinois School of Architecture. She later becomes tehf irst woman to win the AIA's School Medal.+
1948 Eleanor Raymond (1888-1989), graduate of the Cambridge School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, designs the US first occupied solar-powered Dover Sun House in Dover, Mass.+
1958 Currently there are a total of 320 registered women architects, which equals to 1% of the total number of registered architects in the US.+
1963 Ada Louise Huxtable becomes the first architecture critic in the US with The New York Times. She will later receive the Pulitzer Prize of "distinguished criticism" in 1970.+
1973 Chicago Women in Architecture founded.
1973 Sharon Sutton (B.Music, M.Arch) graduates with a M.Arch from the Columbia University. She will later become the first African-American woman to become a full professor in an accredited architecture professional degree program.+
1973 Washroom on third floor of the Architecture Building is switched from men's to women's. Learn more
1980 M. Rosaria Piomelli heads the City College of New York College of Architecture, becoming the first woman dean of a US architecture school.+
1981 Two surveys (1974 & 1981) of women in architecture firms by the AIA show a majority experience discriminatory practices in school or at work. Desipite these negative responses, 7 out of 10 say they would choose architecture even if they could change career.+
1981 Yale University undergraduate Maya Lin, at age of 21, wins the competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
1982 Carol Ross Barney is the first female recipient of the Francis J. Plym Traveling Fellowship, UIUC.
1983 The AIA begins collecting data on the gender and race of its memebers.+
1985 The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) is established. The Archive is consisted of professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics, urban planners, and records of women's architectural organizations from around the world.+
1985 Norma Merrick Sklarek is the first African-American woman in the US to form her own firm, Siegel-Sklarek-Diamond. She is also the first African-American woman to license in the US and to be inducted as a fellow of the AIA.+
1988 The number of female licensed architects is approximately 2100 (about 4%).
1993 Susan A. Maxman becomes the first female president of AIA.+
1993 Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk is named dean of University of Miami School of Architecture in Florida. She establishes a master of architecture program in suburb and town design.+
1994-95 Carme Pinos is named Distinguished Plym Professor. Learn more
1995-96 Leslie Kanes Weisman is named George A. Miller Endowment Professor. Learn more
1996 Carolyn Dry & Kathryn Anthony are first women to be promoted to Professor in the UIUC School of Architecture.
1998 Ann R. Chaintreuil becomes the first female president of NCARB.+
1998 Women In Architecture at the UIUC is formed as a registered organization.
1999 The number of female licensed architects is approximately 30,000 (about 15.5%), and the proportion of principals or partners who are women is 11.2%.
2001 Of the 1,038 tenured architecture school faculty members, 16% are female and 8% are ethnic minorities. For architecture undergraduates, 37% are female, 15% are ethnic minorities. For graduates, 34% are female and 20% are ethnic minorities.+
2001 Sandra Mendler is named the first recipient of the Sustainable Design Leadership Awards for her leadership and commitment to environmental issues and the design profession.+
2001 Frances Halsband is named Distinguished Plym Professor. Learn more
2002 Maya Lin becomes the first artist to serve on the Yale Corporation and first Asian-American woman trestee in Yale University's history.+
2002 "Professor Pay Reveals Gender Gap"
2002 The proportion of female licensed architects is about 19.9%, and the proportion of principals or partners who are women is 20.7%.
2003 From the 2003 AIA Firm Survey, 20% are female registered architects and over 11% are ethnic minorities.+
2004 Zaha Hadid is the first female to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize.


+Almanac of Architecture and Design 2004. Washington, D.C.: Greenway Communications, 2004.

If you would like to submit an entry to the timeline, please email it to
Last Updated: 3/4/05