Women’s History Month: Zaha Hadid, Architect

As  the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture, Zaha Hadid is known for her innovative architectural designs.  Born in  Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Hadid’s  studied mathematics at the American  University of Beruit and began her architectural studies at the Architectural Association of London in 1972, graduating in 1977.  Only two years after graduation, Hadid set out  to establish her own design firm, Zaha Hadid Architects. From that time, Hadid has gone on to design many projects in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia that have international recognition.  A few of her completed projects are shown below

Nordpark Railway Station  – Innsbruck, Austria
Zaha Hadid - Innsbruck - Nordpark Cable Railway 13
Source: archidaisuki0002 (Flickr)

BMW Central Plant  – Leipzig, Germany

BMW, Leipzig - Germany
Source: bene office (Flickr)


Research Sources





Event: Amplify Baltimore – 2nd Quarter

For those following the Amplify Baltimore initiative, the second event is being held this coming Saturday. Check out the flyer below for more information. To register for the event, click here.

Women’s History Month: Beverly L. Greene – Architect & Urban Planner (1915-1957)

Senior Portrait circa 1936

Photo Credit:  University of Illinois

Born Chicago, IL, Beverly Loraine Greene is believed to be the first registered African-American woman architect in the United States. The only child of a lawyer and a homemaker, Greene attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign going on to earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in architectural engineering in 1936 and a Master of Science (M.S.) in city planning a year later. In December 1942, Greene registered as an architect with the State of Illinois. She was 27 years old at the time.

Upon finishing her graduate education, Greene returned to Chicago and was hired by the Chicago Housing Authority, breaking the racial and gender glass ceilings at the agency. In 1945, Greene moved to New York City to work on the development of Stuyvesant Town a private housing complex on the east side of Manhattan. Greene did not believe she would be able to work on the project due to her reading about Stuyvesant Town “not allowing Negroes to live in the development” however, she was hired to work on the development, only to leave soon after to accept a scholarship from Columbia University to study city planning. Greene received a masters in architecture from Columbia University in June 1945.

During her career, Greene worked for several noted architects including Isadore Rosefield, Edward Durell Stone and Marcel Breuer. Below is a list of projects Greene worked on during her career:

Project Location Year
Christian Reformation Church (now Christian Parish for Spiritual Renewal) New York City 1956
New York University New York City (c) 1956
Sarah Lawrence College Theater Bronxville, NY 1952
United Nations Headquarters Paris, France 1950s
Unity Funeral Chapel New York City 1954
University of Arkansas Theater Fayetteville, AK 1951

At the age of 41, Greene died on August 22, 1957. A memorial service was held for Greene at Unity Funeral Chapel, one of the projects she designed.


African-American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary, 1864-1945 (New York: Routledge, 2004)

“Beverly Greene,” Jet Magazine, September 5, 1957

Greene, Beverly Loraine (1915-1957) – BlackPast.org http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/greene-beverly-loraine-1915-1957

Mitchell, Melissa, “Research Project Spotlights African-American Architects from University of Illinois http://news.illinois.edu/news/06/0209architects.html

“Woman Architect Blazes a New Trail for Others,” Amsterdam News, June 23, 1945



Women in Architecture & Urban Planning – My Ode to Women’s History Month

Inspired by Faith Dow, the blogmaster of Acts of Faith in Love in Life post on Women’s History Month, I have decided during the month of March I will highlight women urban planners and architects. Off to do my research now…will bring back oodles of knowledge starting next week.

In the meantime, check out these neat looking buildings designed by women architects

Aqua – Location: Chicago – Designed by Jeanne Gang
Aqua, Chicago
Source: wjcordier(Flickr)

MAXXI/Museum of XXI Century Arts – Location: Rome – Designed by Zaha Hadid
The MAXXI - Museum of Contemporary Art of the XXI Century
Source: Francesco di Capua (Flickr)