A conversation with Natalie de Blois

Digital recording from The Architectural League's archives of leading figures in post-war modernism.

Natalie de Blois: Mid-Century Masters
Recorded: October 29, 1987

Architect Natalie de Blois joined Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) in 1944, less than ten years after the firm was founded. As the first woman at SOM to reach the level of senior designer, de Blois worked on some of the firm’s most significant projects, including Lever House, Pepsi Cola, the Union Carbide Building, and the Connecticut General Life Insurance Headquarters. Nathaniel Owings, one of the firm’s founders, wrote of her in his autobiography that “her mind and hands worked marvels in design–and only she and God would ever know just how many great solutions, with the imprimatur of one of the male heroes of SOM, owed much more to her than was attributed by either SOM or the client.” (Women in American Architecture, 1977) In this conversation with architect Françoise Bollack, recorded at the League in 1987 as part of a series called “Three Modern Architects,” de Blois discusses the full scope of her career.

Please note: The audio is difficult to understand at some points. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The League’s Digital Archive Project is made possible by contributions from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.