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5 Female Architects Who Left Lasting Marks in Philly

From the first registered female architect in the city to today's Denise Scott Brown

Architecture often gets a bad rap for its lack of female professionals. And it's true—a 2012 American Institute of Architects survey found that 17 percent of registered architects were female. But let's not forget that there are a number of women who have had a lasting impact on the field, especially in Philadelphia.

In honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, Curbed Philly took a look back at five prominent female architects who left their mark on the City of Brotherly Love.

Minerva Parker Nichols (1863-1949)

Nichols was one of the first female architects in the country and worked in Philly during the early 20th century. She designed a number of Century Clubs in Philadelphia and Delaware including one at 124 S. 12th Street. But she rose to fame when she won the international competition to design the Queen Isabella Pavilion for World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, IL. It was never built.

Elizabeth Fleisher (1892-1975)

Best known for designing the Parkway House at 2201 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fleisher was the fourth woman in Pennsylvania to pass the architecture registration exams. She started working for Edward P. Simon, and later became known for designing showrooms, theatres, and factories. It wasn't until 1952 that she designed the 14-story Parkway House, one of the first post-war luxury apartment buildings in the city. One of her lesser-known works includes a midcentury-modern orphanage house at 1823 Callowhill Street.

Georgina Pope Yeatman (1902-1982)

Yeatman was the first female to complete the architecture program at Penn. However, the university refused to award her the degree, so she went to MIT to earn a BS in architecture. In 1930 she became the first female to practice in Pennsylvania, and in later years became the director of architecture for Philly. Penn ultimately came to its senses and awarded her the degree she earned in 1937.

Anne Griswold Tyng (1920-2011)

Tyng came to Philadelphia in 1945 after working professionally in New York and studying at Harvard. It's here where her affair and working relationship with Louis Kahn began, playing an integral role in many of his designs, including the geometric Philadelphia City Tower and Yale University of Art Gallery. She later began well-known for her writings on the development of female creatives in male-dominated professions.

Denise Scott Brown (1931-Present)

Brown isn't just Robert Venturi's partner—she's a highly-respected architect, urban planner, and theorist in her own right. Educated at University of Pennsylvania, Brown was finally recognized for her role in co-designing many of Venturi's works when the duo was awarded the 2015 AIA Gold Medal. In fact, Brown became the second female in history to earn the nod. In addition to her co-designed works with Venturi, Brown has conducted master planning for numerous cities, including Philadelphia, and regions across the globe.

Know of other female architects who had lasting impacts in Philadelphia? Tell us about her in the comments.