Women in American Architecture

A Historic and Contemporary Perspective

Essays by Susan Fondiler Berkon, Sara Boutelle, Doris Cole, Dolores Hayden, Carolyn Johnson, Naomi Leff, Lucy R. Lippard, Jane McGroarty, Judith Paine, Suzanne Stephens, Mary Otis Stevens, and Gwendolyn Wright

In 1977, The Architectural League, through its recently established Archive of Women in Architecture, organized a book entitled Women in American Architecture: A Historic and Contemporary Perspective in conjunction with an exhibition by the same name. Guided primarily by Susana Torre with support from other founding members of the Archive, the book aimed to present the range and quality of women’s work, as both practitioners and commentators, in the fields of architecture, planning, and design. Following an introduction by Susana Torre, the book is divided into five parts with chapters contributed by thirteen women well known in architectural journalism. They delve into how professional women have designed for and written about women as workers in the home, describe the varied careers of women architects from the mid-19th century through the 1960s, explore the position of women as architectural critics through four women’s careers, analyze the contemporary perspective of women in the profession in 1977, and summarize women’s spatial symbolism.


This project was made possible with public funds from The New York State Council on the Arts and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This project was also made possible with funds from CBS, Inc., IBM Corporation, and Harry Winston, Inc.