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Architecture Lois Lilley Howe


?? 49 Hawthorne Street

23 Hawthorne Street 23 Hawthorne Street
Photographs by Sarah Burks..

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Lois Lilley Howe (1864-1964), architect


Lois Lilley Howe, one of the first woman fellows of the American Institute of Architects, designed the eclectically styled Cambridge home at 49 Hawthorne in 1900. It is a relatively early example from her career which spanned the years from 1889 to 1963. Howe began her career as an architect in 1888 when she entered MIT’s two-year “Partial Architecture” course. After she graduated, she worked as a draftsman with a local Boston firm. In 1891, Howe entered the nationwide design contest for the Woman’s Building at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. She came in second place, behind her classmate Sophia Hayden, and received $500. She earned her first commission to build a house in 1894, and six years later, she and Eleanor Manning (1884-1973), another MIT graduate, established one of the longest-lasting and most prolific women’s architectural firms. At a time when women architects were limited to residential design, the firm of Howe & Manning distinguished itself by championing the problems of urban housing. Manning designed the first public, low-income housing in Boston, and Howe focused on small, affordable houses in the suburbs. Howe received at least 33 commissions in Cambridge alone, and several there and in other Boston-area suburbs are listed in the National Register. Howe furthered the advance of architectural technology when she contributed an article about her innovative use of plaster to Architectural Review and Architectural Record in 1907. Howe, Manning & Almy--Mary Almy (1883-1967), also of MIT, joined the firm in 1913--became known for using the Colonial Revival-style in both building and renovating. The same year Almy joined the firm, in fact, Howe published Details of Old New England and Houses with Constance Fuller. Although the firm was dissolved 1937, Howe continued to work with Manning’s private firm. She passed away 12 days short of her 100th birthday.

The houses at 49 and 23 Hawthorne St. in Cambridge, MA., are not open to the public. The Lois Lilley Howe House is located at 6 Appleton St. in Cambridge, MA.

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Last Modified: Monday, 30-Mar-98 15:42:58EST