Elizabeth Ayer letter to Norman Johnston, 1987  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Ayer, Elizabeth,   1897-1987
Elizabeth Ayer letter to Norman Johnston
1987 (inclusive)
2 pages ; 28 centimeters
Collection Number
3981 (Accession No. 3981-001)
Elizabeth Ayer (1897-1987) was the first registered woman architect in Washington State
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Elizabeth Ayer (1897-1987) was the first female graduate of the University of Washington's architecture program and was the first female architect registered in Washington State. Ayer was born in Thurston County, Washington in 1897. She received her degree in 1921 and worked for several architectural firms after graduation. In 1922, she moved to New York City to work for the firms of Cross & Cross, Grosvenor Atterbery and Andrew Willatsen. She then returned to Seattle where she joined the firm of Ivey & Riley. In 1940, Ayer started her own architectural firm with fellow University of Washington graduate and architect, Rolland Lamping. Ayer's architectural style combined elements of modernism with more traditional, historical styles. Many of her homes were characteristic of the Colonial Revival style. Some of her more prominent Puget Sound designs include the Langdon C. Henry residence, the Seattle Children's Home, the Winston W. Chambers residence and the Albert Schafer Castle. Ayer retired in 1970 after practicing architecture for nearly 50 years; she died in 1987.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Letter to Norm Johnston following her hearing the content of his history of the University of Washington School of Architecture, 1987.

Elizabeth Ayer's letter to Norman Johnston was written in response to her reading of his book, Architectural education at the University of Washington (1987). Ayer touches on her days as a student at the University of Washington School of Architecture, commenting specifically on her instructors and mentors, Carl Gould, Robert McClelland, and Henry Suzzallo.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

See also Ayer family papers (Manuscript collection 2020) and the Elizabeth Ayer scrapbook ( NA2300.U59 A9 1917) in the Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries.

Cite As: Elizabeth Ayer letter to Norman Johnston, Manuscript collection 3981. Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Architects--Washington (State)--Correspondence
  • Architecture
  • Architecture--Study and teaching--Washington (State) --Seattle
  • College teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Schools of architecture--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Ayer, Elizabeth --Correspondence
  • Gould, Carl Freylinghuysen, 1873-1939
  • McClelland, Robert F
  • Suzzallo, Henry, 1875-1933
  • Corporate Names :
  • University of Washington. ¬†College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Correspondence
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Johnston, Norman J (creator)