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Elizabeth Wood

Elizabeth Wood at Altgeld Gardens. Courtesy of the Chicago Housing Authority.

Name: Elizabeth Wood

Date of Birth / Location: April 9, 1899 / Nara, Japan

Date of Death / Location: January 16, 1993 / Atlanta, Georgia

Education: Bachelor's Degree in Rhetoric, Illinois Wesleyan University, n.d. Master's Degree in Rhetoric, University of Michigan, n.d. University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, ca. 1932-1934.

Firms and Partnerships Chicago Housing Authority (Executive Director), 1937- 1954. As Executive Director, Elizabeth pushed an agenda to provide high-quality, low-to-mid rise, racially integrated housing of architectural excellence, which would be equally distributed throughout the city. She worked closely with the Chicago Park District to assure tenants had adequate recreation space and advocated for the construction of community and cultural facilities as part of the housing development.

Professional Organizations & Activities: Elizabeth taught English between 1928 and 1932 before moving to Chicago where she briefly worked for the Home Modernizing Bureau, a trade organization. She then worked as a caseworker for the United Charities (now Family Service Bureau) between ca. 1932-1934. In 1934, she was appointed the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Housing Council, and the following year as the Executive Director of the Illinois State Housing Board. Elizabeth would go on to work for the City Housing Authority and the Citizens Housing and Planning Council in New York City and serve as an advisor at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Johnson and Nixon Administrations from 1965-1972.

Primary Field: Developer

Work History:

  • Those developments, regarded as her greatest accomplishments while at the Chicago Housing Authority, include the Jane Addams, Julia C. Lathrop, and Trumbull Park Homes. Looking deeper at the development of a dozen other housing projects during Elizabeth’s tenure, its clear she had a hand in so many more projects including the Ida. B. Wells Homes, Cabrini-Green Homes, and Altgeld Gardens.

Additional Images:

Jane Addams Home Animal Court, Near West Side, Chicago, Illinois, 1937. Courtesy of Edgar Miller Legacy.
Ida B. Wells Homes, Located between 35th Street, Pershing Road, Cottage Grove Avenue, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 1941. Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.
Trumbull Homes_CHA Trumbull Homes, Located between 105th and 109th Streets and between Bensley and Oglesby Avenues in Chicago's South Deering neighborhood, 1938. Courtesy of the Chicago Housing Authority.
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Nancy Ann Abshire (Courtesy of CWA)
Nancy Ann Abshire

Name: Nancy Ann Abshire

Date of Birth / Location: Dayton, Ohio

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design, Northwestern University; Bachelor of Architecture, University of Illinois; 1965-1969

Firms & Partnerships: C.F. Murphy Associates 1961-1968; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), interior design department, also design architect and project manager on various architectural projects, 1968-2019, promoted to Associate 1988.

Professional Organizations & Activities: Chicago Women in Architecture, Founder AIA, RIBA, NCARB; Executive director of SOM foundation 2010-2019; National Trust of Great Britain; Architecture and Design Society of the Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago Architecture Foundation, Auxiliary Board Member since 1971

Awards & Honors: SAH award 2010; Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2021

Aileen Anderson Colville

Name: Aileen Anderson Colville

Date of Birth / Location: November 1, 1905 / Illinois

Date of Death / Location: September 22, 1983 / Oak Park, Illinois

Firms & Partnerships: Architect for Sears, Roebuck & Co., 1937 (According to "Houses by Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck & Company" by Katherine Cole Stevenson and H. Ward Jandl.)

Professional Organizations & Activities: Chicago Women's Architectural Club (CWA), Secretary.

Edith C. Antognoli_image Edith C. Antognoli (circa 1965). Courtesy of the Park Forest Star.
Edith Antognoli

Name: Edith Antognoli

Date of Birth / Location: January 2 1912 / Georgetown, British Guiana

Barbara Armstrong

Name: Barbara Armstrong

Iris Ashwell (1952)
Iris Ashwell

Name: Iris Ashwell

Date of Birth / Location: August 16, 1897 / British Columbia, Canada

Date of Death / Location: November 5, 1987 / British Columbia, Canada

Education: University of British Columbia; Iowa State College; Ashwell also studied for two years in England with the urban planner Thomas Mawson.

Firms & Partnerships: Chief Land Planner for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), late 1940s-early 1950s.

Professional Organizations & Activities: Professional Women's Council Western Society of Engineers; American Society of Planning Officials; Professional Women's Club of Evanston, Illinois.

Anna Carmen Baird Walsh

Name: Anna Carmen Baird Walsh

Date of Birth / Location: 1872 / Quincy, Illinois

Date of Death / Location: August 17, 1936 / Chicago, Illinois

Professional Organizations & Activities: Member, National Women's Association of Commerce; Board member, Aviation Club of Chicago; Director, Woodlawn Trust and Savings Bank

Adelaide Eunice Benham Hulla

Name: Adelaide Eunice Benham Hulla

Date of Birth / Location: 1871 / New York

Date of Death / Location: 1961

Education: Wellesley College, 1884-1890; AB from Cornell University, 1887-1890; Bachelor's of Science in Architecture, Chicago School of Architecture (a joint program with the Armour Institute, now Illinois Institute of Techonoly IIT, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), 1902. Thesids: "A Group of University Buildings."

Firms & Partnerships: According to 1938-39 Cornell Alumni directory, Adelaide was in joint practice of architecture at 104 S Dearborn in Chicago, Illinois and in the 90 Schiller Building, Chicago, Illinois with her husband John Hulla.

Professional Organizations & Activities: Adelaide was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. (Courtesy of Martin Tangora)

Katherine Brewster

Name: Katherine (Kate) Lancaster Brewster

Date of Death / Location: September 24, 1947 / Lake Forest, Illinois

Professional Organizations & Activities: Member of the Lake Forest Garden Club; Member of the Garden Club of America; President of the Chicago Public School Art Society

Awards & Honors: Legion of Honor for her work with the Chicago chapter of France Forever.

Fran Caldwell

Name: Fran Caldwell

Isabel Ling Chan

Name: Isabel Ling Chan

Professional Organizations & Activities: American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Pao-Chi Chang

Name: Pao-Chi Chang

Firms & Partnerships: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Alfred Swenson Pao-Chi Chang Architects

Professional Organizations & Activities: Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Professor

Mary Colter

Name: Mary Colter

Sue Ann Conover

Name: Sue Ann Conover

Education: Bachelor's of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1979

Professional Organizations & Activities: American Institute of Architects (AIA); Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA)

Crawford_ in front of Lindberg Engineering Co.|Mary Ann Crawford_LINDBERG ENGINEERING_WESTERN AND CAMPBELL_CHICAGO_02|Crawford_6531_WAUKESHA_CHICAGO|Amy McCormick tomb 1_by Crawford Mary Ann Crawford in front of the Lindberg Construction Company building that she designed. Courtesy of the Chicago Daily Tribune.
Mary Ann Elizabeth Crawford

Name: Mary Ann Elizabeth Crawford

Date of Birth / Location: 1901 / Girard, Illinois

Date of Death / Location: December 19, 1988 / Springfield, Illinois

Education: Bachelor of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1929; Master's of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1930.

Firms & Partnerships: Holabird and Root, 1930s; Rand McNally, 1930s; Historical American Building Survey Work, 1930s; Montgomery Ward, n.d.; Private Practice, beginning in 1959.

Professional Organizations & Activities: Chair of the Women’s Architectural Club; Officer for the Society of Western Engineers; Licensed Architect with the State of Illinois, 1941; Licensed Engineer with the State of Illinois, 1943. In 1978, some of Crawford's student drawings were featured in the "Chicago Women Architects: Contemporary Directions" exhibition at Artemisia Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. In 1980, her drawings were the focus of a solo exhibition titled "American Beaux-Arts" at the Frumkin-Struve Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.

Isabella Curran

Name: Isabella Curran

Firms & Partnerships: Active in Chicago and surrounding suburbs at the beginning of the twentieth century.