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SBLM Celebrates International Women’s Day

All of the women and men at SBLM appreciate, honor, and celebrate the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women. We are dedicated in our support of taking action against gender inequality around the world.

We are all standing on the shoulders of the female architects, planners and designers who came before us. While design and architecture have historically been dominated by men, women have made crucial contributions to our built environment that have defined where we are in the profession today. Here are just a few of our design heroes.

Julia Morgan American architect (1872 –1957) the first woman to pass the entrance exam in architecture for the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (and the school’s first female graduate), and the first licensed woman architect in California. Best known for her work on Hearst Castle, publisher William Randolph Hearst’s spectacular estate in San Simeon, California, now a National Historic Landmark.

Anna Wagner Keichline (1889 –1943) was an American architect, inventor, suffragist, and World War I Special Agent from PA. She was the first woman to be registered as an architect in Pennsylvania and she was "one of the first women to actually practice architecture professionally" She was awarded seven patents, including one for a notched brick in 1927.

Louise Blanchard Bethune American architect 1856 –1913) was the first woman known to have worked as a professional architect which she announced at the Ninth Congress of the Association for the Advancement of Women in 1891, She refused to compete in a design competition for the Women's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition because men were paid $10,000 to design buildings for the fair while the women got only $1,000. She believed that complete emancipation meant equal pay for equal work, and she didn't want to support endeavors that didn't support her views or values.

Olive Frances Tjaden (1904 –1997) A pioneering woman architect, one of the first female architects of her generation. Against their better judgement, Cornell University was required to admit women. Tjaden completed the five-year course in four years and graduated in 1925 with a BArch at the age of 19, the only woman architect in her class. In 1929, at the age of 24, Tjaden became the youngest registered architect in NYS. She specialized in residential architecture, and was chosen to design a home for the 1939 World's Fair. She designed more than two thousand buildings in her career A building housing part of Cornell's College of Architecture, Art and Planning was named in her honor in 1981 became the first woman admitted to the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants rather than to create it herself.” – Anais Nin

Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid (1951-2016) was an Iraqi-British architect, artist and designer, recognized as a major figure in architecture of the late-20th and early-21st centuries. Zaha Hadid was a visionary architect who reshaped the world with her radical designs and innovative use of materials. Her projects spanned 44 countries and included museums, stadiums, bridges, skyscrapers, and cultural centers, often inspired by nature and geometry. She died in 2016 at the age of 65, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking and influential architecture that challenged conventions and expectations.

Kazuyo Sejima (Born 1956) is a Japanese architect and director of her own firm, Kazuyo Sejima & Associates. In 1995, she co-founded the firm SANAA . In 2010, Sejima was the second woman to receive the Pritzker Prize. In 2010, Sejima was appointed director of architecture sector for the Venice Biennale, which she curated for the 12th Annual International Architecture Exhibition. She was the first woman ever selected for this position. With her boundless imagination and quietly disruptive ideas, the co-founder of Japanese practice SANAA plays a critical role as a modernist trailblazer.

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