Merrick Sklarek (1926-2012) was one of the first black women to become a licensed
architect in the United States. Nicknamed the “Rosa Parks
of Architecture”, she was the first black female architect in the states of New
York and later California.
She received her degree from Columbia
University School of Architecture in 1950, graduating as one of only two female
students. In 1980, she was the first black woman elected as a fellow of the
American Institute of Architects.
Ada Louise Huxtable (1921-2013) was the
recipient of the first ever Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, awarded to her in
1970. She was an architecture critic who had a significant contribution in
bringing the art into the public dialogue.
She worked for the MoMA as Curatorial Assistant
for Architecture and Design, and was later the first architecture critic at The New York Times. She wrote numerous
books in the field and was one of the main driving forces behind the New York
City Landmarks Preservation Commission, founded in 1965.
Maya Lin (b.
1959) is an architect and designer, working mainly with sculpture and land art.
She is best known for submitting the winning design for the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial in Washington, D.C., when she was still a student at Yale University.
She is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, and the niece of
Lin Huiyin, the first female architect in China. She also designed the Civil
Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2009, she was awarded the National
Medal of Arts.