Top Women Architects


Michaele Pride-Wells (right), sole proprietor of RE: Architecture in Marina del Rey, Calif., takes particular pride in the exterior and interior restoration and rehabilitation of this 12-story art deco building located in downtown Los Angeles, completed by her firm in 1993. Pride-Wells, a 1980 graduate of Arizona State University, also recently received an L.A. Cultural Affairs Commission award for her design of a childcare center for the L.A. Department of Water and Power.

Hermine E. Ricketts (below) stands in front of the Phyllis R. Miller Elementary School, a 6.1 million project commissioned by the Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Fla. The 80,000-square-foot facility is one of several school-based projects designed by her firm, HER Architects, Inc., located in Coral Gables, Fla. Ricketts established her multidisciplined architectural firm in 1986 and is a cum laude graduate of the School of Architecture and Planning at Howard University.

Ever since Norma Sklarek established herself in 1954 as the first Black woman to practice as a licensed architect, African-American women have progressively risen to the top of their field. Now, more than 40 years later, not only are more women licensed but the 10 women featured here are either sole proprietors or co-partners of their own firms--an unheard of achievement four decades ago.

Unfortunately, the number of Black female licensed architects remains small--of the estimated 1,065 African-American licensed architects nation-wide, only 80 are women. Given these statistics, the fact that several head their own firms is impressive.

Five of the women presented on the following pages--Roberta Washington, Michaele Pride-Wells, Hermine E. Ricketts, Beverly K. Hannah, and Donna D. Carter--are sole proprietors. The remaining five share their firms with husbands, fathers and others. Many are also graduates of some of this country's most prestigious academic institutions.

Alone or with others, all of these women are committed to the communities they serve and are sterling examples of America's entrepreneurial spirit.

Cheryl L. McAfee (above), president of Charles F. McAfee, F.A.I.A., N.O.M.A., P.A., Architecture, Engineering, Planning and Interiors headquartered in Wichita, Kan., visits the construction site of the future Olympic Stadium in Atlanta. Her firm, founded by her father, shares the responsibility for managing the design and construction of not only this facility, but all 33 sports venues connected with the 1996 Olympic Games. McAfee is a 1981 Harvard University graduate.

Beverly K. Hannah (below) is the founder and CEO of Hannah & Associates, Inc., an architectural and interior design firm based in Detroit, Mich. The two-year-old firm is responsible for the restoration and renovation of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church's chapel, fellowship hall and classroom facilities, which were destroyed by fire. The Lawrence Technological University graduate says she is "looking forward to standing in front of one of my exterior building designs one day."

Ivenue Love-Stanley (above), co-principal with her husband William J. …

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