When: Friday, August 05 / 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
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Categorized under: Virtual Histories

Women in Maryland Architecture, 1920-1970

Join BAF and Baltimore Heritage for a special Virtual History presentation!


About this event

Image Credit from Cambridge Yacht Club: 1939, Cambridge Yacht Club


This program is hosted on Zoom. Upon registering you will receive an email confirmation and a Zoom link. If you do not receive a link, please contact mstella@aiabalt.com. If you do not contact us at least 1 hour prior to the start of the program, we cannot guarantee admittance.

The Baltimore Architecture Foundation (BAF) and Baltimore Heritage present the Virtual Histories Series: 30 minute live virtual tours and presentations focusing on Baltimore architecture, preservation and history. Hosted every Friday at 1:00 pm EST.

Tickets are donation based. We encourage you to give what you can to support BAF and Baltimore Heritage. Your support helps us make up for lost tour and program revenue from COVID-19 and create more virtual programs like this.

About Our Presentation


This presentation will highlight the research and documentation undertaken by EHT Traceries during the preparation of the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form Women in Maryland Architecture, 1920-1970. Educational and professional opportunities for women architects were limited throughout much of the twentieth century, yet pioneering women contributed significantly to the built environment of Maryland. The struggle of women designers to obtain higher education and parity with men forms part of the broader social history of women’s efforts to achieve greater equality within American society. The Multiple Property Documentation Form, prepared through the Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grant program awarded to BAF by the Maryland Historical Trust, examines the careers of women designers including architects, landscape architects, and artists in Maryland who were active between 1920-1970 and situates their stories within this broader national context. The achievements of pioneers such as Gertrude Sawyer, Chloethiel Woodard Smith, and Helen Ross Staley helped pave the way for a twenty-first-century architectural profession where women architects are appreciated and celebrated for their contributions.

The presentation will examine the early history of women’s involvement in the architectural field, the educational opportunities available, and the challenges they faced in establishing their careers. It will also explore the work of women designers active in Maryland during the 1920-1970 period, representing a wide spectrum of building types, landscapes, and public art. In order to place these resources in context, the presentation will consider the aesthetic, cultural, and economic themes that shaped architecture and development in Maryland during the twentieth century, providing both opportunities and obstacles to women design professionals.

About the presenter

John Gentry is Senior Architectural Historian at EHT Traceries, Inc., a historic preservation consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from DePaul University and a Masters in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, College Park. As an architectural historian and cultural resource management professional, John is experienced in researching, documenting, and assessing historic buildings and landscapes. He has successfully listed individual properties and districts in the National Register of Historic Places and local landmark registries in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and several other U.S. states. In addition, he has completed numerous compliance-driven survey and documentation projects for government agencies, architects, and developers. John is a member of the Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the D.C. Preservation League.