Trailblazing architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016, was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She followed in the footsteps of other trailblazing women architects whose accomplishments go back to the late 1800s. Match the woman with her accomplishment:
_____ 1. Most well known for the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
_____ 2. Her design was selected for the Woman’s Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
_____ 3. She won the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial while still an undergraduate at Yale University.
_____ 4. Known for her design of “National Park Service Rustic” buildings and many facilities at Grand Canyon National Park.
A. Mary Colter
B. Julia Morgan
C. Sophia Hayden Bennett
D. Maya Lin
Architect Mary Colter created the Fred Harvey hotels along the Santa Fe Railroad and at the Grand Canyon, putting the Southwest on the map. She used Hopi, Navajo, Zuni and Mexican motifs and also created what is today called “National Park Service Rustic” using local and natural materials in her buildings. At the La Fonda hotel (1925) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, her interior design and decorating featured local craftsmen from the pueblos, creating what is today called the Santa Fe Style. At Grand Canyon National Park, her buildings included the Hopi House (1905), Desert View Watchtower (1932), Hermit’s Rest (1914), Lookout Studio (1914), Bright Angel Lodge (1935) and Phantom Ranch (1922). The creator of Mimbreno china and flatware, Colter also decorated the exteriors of the train stations in St. Louis, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Best known for her work as the architect on the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California (now a California State Park and listed as a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Landmark), Julia Morgan was the first woman to be licensed as an architect in California. She graduated from the University of California – Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering (the only woman in her class) in 1894. Mentored by an architect who was a lecturer in her senior year, she journeyed to Paris with the hopes of studying to be an architect. In 1897, the École Nationale superiere des Beaux-Arts succumbed to pressure from French women artists and decided to admit women. Morgan was admitted a few years later and graduated in 1902. In 1904, she obtained her license in California and became very busy after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In addition to the Hearst Castle, she is known for her many buildings designed for the YWCA across California (including the Asilomar Conference Center) and she did much work for Mills College.
In 1886, Sophia Hayden Bennett became the first woman admitted into the architecture program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After she graduated with honors in 1890, she was unable to find work as an architect – due to her gender – but was able to find a position teaching mechanical drawing. She entered an architectural competition for the Woman’s Building to be built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Her design won the competition and the building was constructed. It appears that she left the field of architecture shortly after its completion.
Known for her sculpture and land art, architect Maya Lin won the competition for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1981 while she was still an undergraduate student at Yale University. Her body of work consists of memorials, public and private buildings, landscape and sculpture. Her work reflects significant environmental awareness focusing on relationships that people have with their environment. Much of her recent work focuses on global warming, endangered bodies of water and animals faced with extinction. Although her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was controversial at the time, in 2007, it was named #10 on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture. Lin has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These architect she-roes are among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I am proud to tell women’s stories and write women back into history. I stand on their shoulders.
(Answers: 1-B, 2-C, 3-D, 4-A)