Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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Norma Merrick Sklarek

1928-
From: United States: California, New York
Fields: Architecture and Interior Design
Key Words/Phrases: architect
 
Norma Merrick Sklarek was the first African-American woman to be licensed as an architect in the United States. She was born April 15, 1928 in New York City and graduated from Barnard College (part of Columbia University) in New York, New York with a degree in architecture in 1950. She became a licensed architect in New York State in 1954, and in California in 1962. She was the first African-American woman director of architecture at Gruen and Associates in Los Angeles. In 1966, she was the first woman to be elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Some twenty years later, in 1985, she became the first African-American woman architect to form her own architectural firm: Siegel, Sklarek, Diamond. At the time, this was the largest woman-owned and mostly woman-staffed architectural firm. Among Sklarek's designs are the City Hall in San Bernardino, California, the Fox Plaza in San Francisco, Terminal One at the Los Angeles International Airport and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Contributed by Danuta Bois, 1997.

Bibliography:
The Book of African-American Women: 150 Crusaders, Creators, and Uplifters by Tonya Bolden, Adams Media Corporation, 1996

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