Storming the Old Boys
234 Pages
English

Storming the Old Boys' Citadel

-

Description

“Women” and “architecture” were once mutually exclusive terms. In an 1891 address, Louise Blanchard Bethune declared, “it is hardly safe to assert” that a connection even exists between the two words. Some women didn’t agree.
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart (1823-1902) is credited with works built in the present states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia. Born Esther Pariseau in Saint-Elzéar, Québec, the “Mother with a hammer” was honored by the State of Washington as one of two people to represent it in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C.
Louise Blanchard Bethune (1856-1913) designed and built works in the Buffalo, New York area, including the Lafayette Hotel, which was one of the eleven most luxurious hotels in the United States when it opened in 1904.
Mother Joseph’s and Louise Bethune’s signature buildings, Providence Academy, Vancouver, Washington, and the Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York, are both listed on the United States’ National Register of Historic Places. Both buildings are cases of historic preservation and adaptive reuse.
Bridging disciplines from women’s studies, architecture and architectural history to the fascinating past of the Pacific Northwest and Upstate New York, Storming the Old Boys’ Citadel sheds new light on North America’s common built environment and those who made it.
In this book, based on years of research and keen story-telling skills, Carla Blank and Tania Martin also breathe new life into the lives and works of two remarkable nineteenth-century women.

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Published 15 December 2014
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Carla Blank and Tania Martin
STORMING THE OLD BOYS’ CITADEL
STORMING THE
omen” and “architecture” were once mutually exclusive. In an
“W91 address, Louise Blanchard Bethune declared, “it is hardly safe to
assert” that a connection even exists between the two words. Some women OLD BOYS’ CITADEL
didn’t agree.
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart (1823-1902) is credited with works
built in the present states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and
two Pioneer women Architects of nineteenth century north AmericABritish Columbia. Born Esther Pariseau in Saint-Elzéar, Québec, the
“Mother with a hammer” was honored by the State of Washington as one
of two people to represent it in the National Statuary Hall Collection in
Washington, D.C.
Louise Blanchard Bethune (1856-1913) designed and built works in the
Bufalo, New York area, including the Lafayette Hotel, which was one of the
eleven most luxurious hotels in the United States when it opened in 1904.
Mother Joseph’s and Louise Bethune’s signature buildings, Providence
Academy, Vancouver, Washington, and the Lafayette Hotel, Bufalo, New
York, are both listed on the United States’ National Register of Historic
Places. Both buildings are cases of historic preservation and adaptive reuse.
Carla Blank and Tania Martin breathe new life into the lives and works
of these two remarkable nineteenth-century women.
Carla Blank is the author of Live On Stage! and Rediscovering America: The Making
of Multicultural America, 1900–2000. Her articles have appeared in El Pais, The San
Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Green Magazine, Hungry Mind Review,
Counterpunch, and Konch. She lives in Oakland, California.
Tania Martin is a professor at the Université Laval School of Architecture in Québec
City where she has held the Canada Research Chair in Built Religious Heritage since
2005. She has published essays in scholarly journals on architectural history and North
American religious institutional structures. She lives in Québec City.
$29.95
www.barakabooks.com isbn 978-1-77186-013-0 Carla Blank and Tania Martin
Citadel.couv.2.indd 1 2014-11-18 11:55
18Citadel.indd 2 2014-12-08 11:22STORMING THE OLD BOYS’ CITADEL
Citadel.indd 3 2014-12-08 11:22Citadel.indd 4 2014-12-08 11:22STORMING THE
OLD BOYS’ CITADEL
two Pioneer women Architects
of nineteenth century north AmericA
Carla Blank and Tania Martin
Montréal
Citadel.indd 5 2014-12-08 11:22© Baraka Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval
system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
ISBN 978-1-77186-013-0 (pbk); 978-1-77186-031-4 (epub); 978-1-77186-032-1 (pdf); 978-1-77186-033-8
(mobi/pocket)

Book design and cover by Folio infographie
Cover photo: iStock
Back cover photos:
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart and Providence Academy, ca 1901 (Courtesy of Providence Archives,
Vancouver, Washington.)
Louise Blanchard Bethune and Hotel Lafayette, ca. 1930 (Bufalo History Museum, used by permission.)
Legal Deposit, 4th quarter 2014
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Library and Archives Canada
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administered by SODEC, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
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the National Translation Program for Book Publishing for our translation
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Pantone Pantone
Citadel.indd 6 2014-12-08 11:22List of iLLustrAtions And mAPs
Hotel Lafayette, Bufalo, NY, ca. 193 0 16 Grafti in Cupola, “Mother Joseph was herbefore
Providence Academy, Vancouver, WA, ca. 1901 17 any of you! ” 104
Place Viger Building, Montreal 23 Birds-eye view of Laundry Building,
Canada Life Building, Montrea l 24 powerhouse… August 2013 105
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Albumen Central Staircase, Providence Academy,
Print, 1850s 46 August 2013 106
Albumen Print of J. B. Blanchet, 188 3 46 1948 Photo of the Chape l
Mother Joseph, ca. 1900 55 Auditorium of Providence Academy, August 201 3 109
Mother Joseph’s Headstone, 1823-1902 56 View of the 1873 East Wing, August 201 3 110
Blueprint of St. James Mission, Vancouver, WA 61 Redbrick Powerhouse, August 2013 111
Reconstructed Hudson’s Bay Trading Pos t 64 Cadastral Map of Providence Academy, Vancouver,
Portion of a Cadastral Map of Providence Academy, Washington, July 1919 112
1919 66 Louise Blanchard Bethune, ca. 1889 126
First Floor Plan of Providence Academy, 187 3 68 Electrical Power Station, 1898 128
Avant-corps of the House of Providence, Members of Bethune, Bethune & Fuchs, ca. 188 9 143
August 2013 69 Iroquois Door Company, 1904 145
Hidden Brick, August 2013 72 Drawing of Work Space at Cosack & Koerner
First Floor Plan of 1891 Addition to House of Company’s Lithography Plant 147
Providence 76 74th Regiment Armory Building 147
Interior of a Classroom, ca. 190 1 77 Livestock Exchange, 1890 147
Photograph of Priest’s House, ca. 192 0 78 Public School No. 39, Bufalo, NY 149
1956 Photo of Centennial Celebration of Sisters’ First Floor Plan, Public School No. 39 150
Arrival in the Northwest 81 Residence, 35 Richmond Avenue, Bufalo, NY 152
Photo of Providence Academy Chapel in 197 7 92 Spencer Kellogg’s Family Residence, August 2013 153
Statue of Mother Joseph by Felix de Weldon, 198 0 96 Niagara at Jersey Street, Flats and Stores 153
Interior of Restored Chapel, August 201 3 98 Map of Bufalo’s Downtown, ca. 1904 162
Interior of Restored Chapel, August 201 3 98 Lafayette’s Glazed Terra Cotta Roof Detail,
Providence Academy, Vancouver, WA, ca. 1901 101 August 2013 166
Avant-corps of Providence Academy, August 191 3 102 Original Ground Floor Plan for Lafayette Ho tel 167
View of Interstate 5 with Providence Academy in Neo-classical Lobby at Lafayette Hotel, ca. 1904 171
Background 103 Wrought Iron Canopy over Clinton Street
View from the Academy Cupola looking towards Entrance to Lafayette Hote l 171
Post Hospital, Fort Vancouver Historical Site 103 Lafayette Hotel’s 1940s Art Moderne-style Lobb y 174
List of illustrations and maps W 7
Citadel.indd 7 2014-12-08 11:22Intarsia Mural of Grain Elevators and Boa t 178 Projected Rehabilitation and Alterations
Corinthian Capital Topping a Column to the Lafayett e 190
in Ballroom/Banquet Room 184 Mural: Washington Greets Lafayett e 192
Original Lafayette Hotel Elevator and Grand Te Lafayette Hotel Lobby as Renovated in 201 2 196
Staircase, ca. 1904 185 Te Look of 1904 Lobby at Anatomy sho p 199
Mold from an Existing Capital Colum n 188 Authors Tania Martin and Carla Blank
Peacock Alley, August 2013 189 at the Lafayette, August 201 3 205
Pan-American Grill & Brewery, August 2013 207
Citadel.indd 8 2014-12-08 11:22contents
Foreword 11
Carla Blank on Louise Bethune and Storming the Old Boys’ Citadel
Tania Martin on Mother Joseph and Storming the Old Boys’ Citade l 13
Who Deserves to be Called North America’s “First” Woman Architect?14
Beaux-Arts Rules 15
What’s Inside this Book? 16
IntroductIon 19
Te Citadel to be Stormed 19
An Architect’s Training and Education 26
Women’s Battles and Experiences 29
Alternative Career Choices 37
PArt i
The Sister with a Hammer
An Architect Named Joseph 44
An “Enterprising Nun” 47
A Heartful Vocatio n 52
Holy Trinity of Settleme nt 57
Providence Faubourg 59
Move to Higher Ground 66
Providence House Vancouver 67
A Brickworks is Born in Vancouver 70
From House of Providence to Providence Academ y 73
Providence Academy for Sal e 81
Salvation of the Buildin g 84
Mother Joseph Goes to DC, a Landmark is Designated 95
Restoration of the Chape l 98
Te Academy for Sal e 99
Mother Joseph’s Signature Building 101
Holy Trinity of Developme nt 113
A Bridge Across Time, and Interstate 5 117
Citadel.indd 9 2014-12-08 11:22PArt ii
Saving a Grand Old Lady
Jennie Louise Blanchard Bethune (1856 – 1913) 125
Te Sources of Bufalo’s Heyda y 126
Te Making of an Architec t 128
How Bufalo Became an Architectural Museum 137
Te Architectural Practice of Louise Blanchard Bethun e 139
Pioneering Feats 146
Searching Bethune’s Buildings 152
Te Business of a Dedicated Professional Wom an 154
Private Life 158
Te Closing Days 159
Bethune’s Signature Legacy: Te Lafayette Hote l 161
Te Lafayette’s Neighbors 161
“Te Russians want to be French” says Nina L. Khruscheva. So do Americans! 163
A President is Gunned Down 164
Construction History: Putting the Pieces Together 165
Te Hotel’s Gilded Grand Opening 169
Doubling the Footprint 170
Prelude of Changes to Com e 172
Te Founding Families 172
From A Residence of Presidents to a Crack Hous e 175
Rescuing the Fallen Lady and Other Bufalo Architectural Gems 179
Te Nineteenth-Century Luxury Hotel as a Model for Modern Livin g 181
Te Lafayette Hotel’s 43-Million-Dollar Restoratio n 186
Creating a Place in the Historical Record 197
conclusIon 201
“Storytelling is part of the game.”—Tania Mart in 201
“Women architects are not confned 204
to modest projects.”—Carla Blank 204
Investing in making a future for women architec ts 209
BIBlIography 211
acknowledgements 229
Citadel.indd 10 2014-12-08 11:22foreword
omE Early wom En arc Hit Ects achieved a another hotel located at the square’s intersection of Smeasure of fame, and some are now obscure, Washington and Clinton Streets, which he noticed
and it is certainly possible there are women who had a dilapidated look, he saw a plaque
indicathave yet to surface in the existing literature. Tis ing that it had opened in 1904 as a luxury hotel,
book focuses on two women who began to practice the Hotel Lafayette (also known as the Lafayette
architecture in North America before the turn of Hotel), designed by the frst American woman to
the twentieth century. be called a professional architect. When Ishmael
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart (born returned home, he told me about this building and
Esther Pariseau, 1823-1902) is representative of asked if I had heard of its architect, whose work he
nameless pioneer women who helped to build nine- had never noticed or heard talk of in all his years
teenth-century North America. growing up in Bufalo. Amazed that such a feat had
Louise Bethune (born Jennie Louise Blanchard, managed to escape even Ishmael’s relentless
curi1856-1913) is representative of the “exceptionalo sity, I began to investigate this architect’s story.
women” admitted into the architecture profession, As my research continued, I came to understand
following another pattern that continued well into that Ishmael’s experience is typical, as Louise
the twentieth century. Blanchard Bethune, who without question
estabOur selection of these two women happened lished many “frsts” for women in architecture, has
somewhat accidentally. remained practically non-existent in the nation’s
historical record. I wondered whether this
deteCarla Blank on Louise Bethune riorating architectural legacy of Mrs. Bethune’s,
and Storming the Old Boys’ Citadel hidden in plain sight for so long, refected the fact
In 2005, as guest speaker at Buffalo’s Harlemt hat women have found architecture one of the
Book Fair, my partner, Ishmael Reed, was put up most difcult felds to enter because, from ancient
at a downtown hotel in the vicinity of Bufalo’s times, when we think of master builders, we think
Lafayette Square. As he walked into the lobby ofof men.
Foreword W 11
Citadel.indd 11 2014-12-08 11:22Further research turned up evidence of over So Robin said he would publish the book if it was
thirty women who had begun architectural studies, about North American women architects, not just
training, or practices before the turn of the twe-nti those based in the United States, and if a Canadian
eth century in the U.S. or Canada, or in territories co-author could be found who understood French.
now within those countries’ borders. Tis fact was How to manage fnding the right person to ft
the makings of a book. this bill? Thinking the best possible co-author
Shopping the book proposal around to various would be a Canadian architectural historian
bilinpublishers, all expressed interest in the subject but gual in French and English, as Mother Joseph’s
corpolitely declined because they assessed it as too respondence was written in French, I remembered
expensive a project to achieve an acceptable return that Kelly Hayes McAloney, one of the Bufalo
on their investment. Ten, accompanying Ishmael architects who frst introduced me to the Hotel
on a book launch and tour of Montreal, Toronto, Lafayette, was born in Canada. When I asked her if
and New York, I related this experience to Robin she could suggest a potential candidate, she put me
Philpot, his publisher, and the head of Baraka in touch with Despina Stratigakos, an architectural
Books. He was intrigued with the idea and asked historian born in Montreal, who sent me to McGill
me if any Canadians were among these women. University-based architectural historian Annmarie
As I reeled of the list of names, including Mother Adams, who in turn suggested Tania Martin, who
Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Robin immediately not only ft all of my qualifcations but goes one
said that he bet she was a Quebecer as her order, better as she has been a long-time specialist in the
the Sisters of Providence, was founded by Émile built environments of Catholic religious commun-i
Gamelin in 1840 in Montreal. He took me to visit ties. We fnally managed to meet at Université Laval
the Canadian Centre for Architecture, where the in Quebec City during Ishmael’s second Canadian
young women in charge of their bookstore assured book tour. Robin, Ishmael, and I climbed the
Saintme that there were no books on women practicing Joseph staircase, whose wooden steps were worn
architecture in Canada in the nineteenth century. down into polished curves by students over some
They stated that the earliest Canadian woman two hundred years, to the top foor of the School of
architect was Marjorie Hill, who became the frst Architecture, where we found Tania on a teaching
Canadian woman registered as an architect when break from her design studio course. Afer some
the Alberta Association of Architects accepted discussion, we agreed to write this book together.
her as a member in 1925. However, a day in the Neither Tania nor I were prepared for the many
McGill University library proved them wrong, as discoveries in store for us as we explored the lives
I found Constructing Careers: Profles of Five Early of these women. For me, Bethune’s career not only
Women Architects in British Columbia, an exhibi- told the story of a woman who succeeded despite
tion catalogue published in 1966 by the Women in long odds, but her story is also the story of her
Architecture Exhibits Committee that included times.
Mother Joseph and confrmed her Canadian roots.
12 W st orming t HE ol d Boys c it ad El’
Citadel.indd 12 2014-12-08 11:22Tania Martin on Mother Joseph Providence buildings attributed to Mother Joseph
and Storming the Old Boys’ Citadel had long disappeared, except Providence Academy,
I frst heard rumors that Mother Joseph had been formerly the House of Providence, built in 1873 in
an architect while writing my master’s thesis. I Vancouver, Washington, as an orphan asylum,
hadn’t paid much attention to it at the time, fgur- school, and administrative seat of the Sisters in
ing that if it were the case, she would show up again; the Northwest. Unfortunately, we were not able to
and she did. Deborah Rink, a historic preservation visit the whole of the complex. At that time, the
consultant who had been studying the landscapes chapel was being readied for a wedding and the
of the Sisters of St. Ann in Vancouver, Britisha uditorium decorated for the reception to follow. So
Columbia, contacted me. She was putting together it was a delight in August 2013 when Yvette Payne
an exhibition on the careers of early women arch -i took Carla and me on a complete tour, from attic
tects in that province and had heard about my to basement, of each of the wings of Providence
Ph.D. work on the Grey Nuns and the Sisters of Academy as well as to the extant secondary
strucProvidence, both based in Montreal. Although tures. From the outside, and the little I had seen
I had not yet collected information on Mother of the inside, not much had changed since my last
Joseph, my article “Housing the Grey Nuns: Power, visit ffeen years earlier, although the building was
Women, and Religion in fn-de-siècle Montréal” slightly worse for wear.
featured another sister, Marie-Anne Falardeau, or In the autumn of 1999, I learned that my pr-o
Sœur Saint-Jean-de-la-Croix in religion. She had posal for a paper on Mother Joseph was accepted
produced a series of as-built plans of a number of for the 2000 meeting of the Society of Architectural
the Grey Nuns’ buildings in Montreal at the turn of Historians’ session on Women Architects. Rink
the twentieth century using the same architectural kindly sent me documentation that she had
conventions employed by contemporary architects assembled on Mother Joseph for her book Spirited
on her ink-on-linen drawings. Women: A History of Catholic Sisters in British
In June 1998, I embarked on a thirty-day cross- Columbia. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, a professor in
continent trip with my mother, who insisted on the University of Washington Department of
accompanying me to visit as many sites as pos- Architecture and editor and co-author of Shaping
sible where the two French-Canadian Catholic Seattle Architecture, having noticed the title of my
sisterhoods had lived and worked, and that were talk in the Society of Architectural Historians’ co-n
accessible from the major North American hig-h ference program, wrote to me saying that he and
ways. As a graduate student, my meager resources his colleagues in Seattle had some concerns about
did not allow me to fy into the remote northern “a considerable mythology surrounding Mother
locations or to drive fve-hundred-mile detours to Joseph.” Delighted that someone from outside
see frst-hand the buildings the sisters had erected, the Pacifc Northwest was interested in Mother
although we did make a number of smaller forays Joseph’s career, David Rash mailed me copies of the
to distant locations. Te majority of the Sisters of article transcriptions he had compiled in combing
Foreword W 13
Citadel.indd 13 2014-12-08 11:22Seattle, Portland, and Walla Walla newspapers for hundred and twenty new buildings, renovations, or
the book project. A good number of these listed additions to buildings.
local practicing architects with whom Mother We believe that, besides the fact that women
Joseph had worked. With this material I could architects are routinely not included in
architecbegin to address the question of whether we could tural history books, omissions of Mother Joseph
consider her as a bona fde architect by placing her and Bethune are likely related to how their
achievepractice within the history of the profession. My ments are judged. In Mother Joseph’s case it may
presentation, however, had raised more questions mostly be attributed to believing she does not
than it had answered. So when Carla invited me ft into defnitions of what constitutes an arch- i
to co-author this book, it presented yet another tect’s job description. A late July 2014 search of
opportunity to untangle the competing claims the Dynamic National Archive, a Wikipedia-like
around Mother Joseph’s accomplishments and to database created to champion women in
archidiscover a bit more about this person. tecture that is maintained on the Beverly Willis
Architecture Foundation website, had yet to include
Who Deserves to be Called North America’s her name in their now copious database of women
“First” Woman Architect? architects.
Although bestowing the honor of who was “frst” While Bethune was listed in that archive, she
can have great signifcance, it is not our intent to has been generally omitted, barely noticed, or
center this work around such a discussion because, dismissed in standard histories of architecture,
frst of all, it should be clear that any “frsts” we ofen according to whether a writer thinks she
talk about refer to women of European American deserves the distinction of being called the frst
ancestry who practiced architecture. In terms of American woman to practice as a professional
simple chronology, it is accurate and fair to say architect. However, it is easily verifable that in 1885,
that between Mother Joseph and Louise Bethune, four years afer Blanchard opened her own ofce
Mother Joseph was one of the first Europeani n Bufalo, New York, (now married and known
American women working in architecture. Bethune professionally as Louise Blanchard Bethune), she
earned her frst building design credits in 1881, the became the frst woman in the United States to
year she opened her architecture ofce in Bufalo, be acknowledged by her peers as a professional
for two houses, a store, and a stable. By 1881, Mother architect when she was voted into membership in
Joseph was credited with having built at least a total a professional architecture association, the Western
of seventeen schools and hospitals for her order andA ssociation of Architects (WAA). Tis distinction
the communities they served. Mother Joseph died was followed in 1888 by the honor of becoming the
in 1902. By that time she had overseen construction frst woman member of the American Institute of
of between twenty-eight and thirty-two structures, Architects (AIA) and then in 1889, the frst woman
not counting renovation work. By Bethune’s death Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
in 1913, she and her ofce had completed at least one (FAIA). Controversies around the importance of
14 W st orming t HE ol d Boys c it ad El’
Citadel.indd 14 2014-12-08 11:22Mrs. Bethune’s FAIA honor are grounded in AIA and Roman traditions and their reinterpretations
procedures for granting the honorifc of “Fellow” adt uring the Renaissance. It was widely considered
the time Bethune gained her FAIA status, as com- the most prestigious and rigorous architectural
pared to diferent requirements needed to receive training Europeans or Americans could fnd
anythat higher distinction later. where, although it did not admit women until
Ten there are those who question the worthi- 1898. Many historians rank Beaux-Arts as the
rulness of Bethune’s work. Tose objections appear ing European academy until 1919, when architect
to be related to a charge of “lack of originality” in Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus, a school in
her designs, an odd objection, since for close to Weimar, Germany. Its mission to make arts a part
thirty years she conducted a successful business of everyday life was dominated by the principles of
very similar to many architects of her time, com- “form follows function,” and that everyone should
bining time-honored styles with contemporary be able to aford functional, well-designed enviro-n
technological innovations. Design innovators, like ments, not just the wealthy. “International Style” is
contemporaries Louis Sullivan, H. H. Richardson, a term that came to be interchangeably applied to
and Frank Lloyd Wright, were the exceptions then, works by its teachers and graduates.
as they are today. Whether they are aware of this or not, most
North Americans know the architectural
prinBeaux-Arts Rules ciples of Beaux-Arts intimately, as our ongoing
In considering the question of who can be or has romance with various eclectic, European, period
been considered an architect, it might be helpful to revivals can readily be documented throughout
discuss the kinds of structures these women were our cities in their twenty-frst-century urban and
building, because they in fact difered little from suburban McMansion manifestations. Some of
those attributed to their male counterparts. In the the most famous Beaux-Arts buildings in both the
nineteenth century, almost all architects and build- United States and Canada are each nation’s
landers espoused Beaux-Arts principles in their designs mark government buildings. Te 1876 Centennial
for city halls, schools, banks, post ofces, hospitals, in Philadelphia and famed White City of the 1893
and other institutional buildings, and for hotels, World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago
(realcountry clubs, residential enclave developments, ized under the direction of Daniel Burnham as well
and private estates. Louise Bethune and Mother as McKim, Mead & White) invigorated resurgence
Joseph were no exceptions. It was the dominant of the form, and at the urban scale it took the name
idiom in North America and the hallmark of École City Beautiful Movement. You will fnd references
nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts training. to many North American buildings that employ
Te School of Fine Arts, formed in the late 1700sB eaux-Arts principles as you read the following
in Paris, taught its students the appropriate histor- chapters.
ical styles to employ for particular building types
and contexts, drawing heavily upon classical Greek
Foreword W 15
Citadel.indd 15 2014-12-08 11:22What’s Inside this Book? tural profession evolved into the standards in place
The Introduction explains the “citadel” to be in 2014.
stormed—the changing definitions of the term Both of their signature buildings are currently
“architect,” how the training and business of arch -i listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic
tecture developed in North America, and how Places: Mother Joseph’s House of Providence in
women have made their way into a profession that Vancouver, Washington; and Louise Bethune’s
traditionally functioned more like a gentlemen’s club. Hotel Lafayette in Bufalo, New York. Both bui-ld
Part I, “Te Sister with a Hammer,” tells Mother ings are still standing although each architect’s
Joseph’s story; Part II, “Saving a Grand Old Lady,” original structure has been changed by various
tells Louise Bethune’s story. Each of these chapters owners and others involved in their additions,
relate how, working on opposite sides of the North modifcations, and renovations. Tey have become
American continent, these women took two very testaments to their ongoing importance to their
diferent routes into the feld of architecture and home communities, in part because of the two
how, over the years they were active, their practices women who were a large force behind their exi-s
demonstrated much about the ways the architec- tence, but also because the layers of history enca-p
sulated in each building carry essential keys to the
identities of each place.
Te Fort Vancouver National Trust is working to
purchase Mother Joseph’s landmark building, now
known as Te Academy, in Vancouver, Washington.
Tey are proposing a sixteen-million-dollar
investment for its preservation and renovation as the
centerpiece of a larger mixed-use master plan for
the seven-acre campus on which it sits to be
developed in partnerships between private and public
entities. On an even grander scale, Bethune’s Hotel
Lafayette in downtown Bufalo, New York, has just
beneftted from a forty-three-million-dollar re -no
vation project, which has brought it back from the
blighted condition it had deteriorated into during
the past few decades. Completed in 2012 and now
ofcially known as Te Hotel @ Lafayette, it has
been restored to its former glamour as a luxury
destination.
Hotel Lafayette, Louise Blanchard Bethune’s signature In the Conclusion we talk about what we have
building, as it was circa 1930.
learned from this project.
16 W st orming t HE ol d Boys c it ad El’
Citadel.indd 16 2014-12-08 11:22Providence Academy, Vancouver, Washington, ca. 1901. (Providence Archives, Seattle, Washington.)
In writing this book, our intention was to go secure. Mostly, however, we ofer this book in hom -
beyond “adding women” to the history of North age to all North American women who pioneered
American architecture. It is our wish to help Mother in a profession that to this day is not an easy one to
Joseph’s and Louise Bethune’s legacies become more work in, especially if you are a woman.
Foreword W 17
Citadel.indd 17 2014-12-08 11:22Citadel.indd 18 2014-12-08 11:22introduction
The Citadel to be Stormed
arla pr EsumEd t ania was an architect, as feld of architecture. Tey punctuate the historical Cdo most people when they learn she obtained, narrative.
in 1992, her bachelor’s degree in architecture. At Just as you cannot practice as a lawyer until you
that time, the fve-year professional program was pass an exam that admits you to the bar, in Canada
the entry point into the profession, although the and the United States you can only be called an
Master of Architecture has since superseded it. architect if you pass a licensing exam and are re-g
Rather than embark on the required internship istered. A provincial or state architecture
associaleading to written exams and registration, Tania tion only has the legal authority to emit a license
earned a post-professional degree from McGillt o practice within its jurisdiction. It will consider
University, specializing in the study of built env-i applications once the candidate has succeeded in
ronments, before earning a Ph.D. in Architectural completing the following requirements: earned a
History from the University of California, Berkeleyd.e gree from an accredited program in architecture
Tese credentials allow her to teach history/the- or, more rarely, fulflled a regimented apprenti-ce
ory courses as well as design studio in a school ship; passed a battery of exams set by the National
of architecture, although many institutions pr-e Certifcation Boards of the country where he or
fer studio instructors to have an architectural she will practice; and served the required number
practice, and hence registration with the state or of hours of internship under the supervision of a
provincial architectural association. The Royal practicing architect. Upon paying his or her annual
Architectural Institute of Canada, however, ofers dues and liability insurance, the newly approved
membership to architecture school faculty. In pre- practitioner retains the privilege of ofcially stam-p
senting a history of the architectural profession in ing his or her drawings as a bona fde architect.
North America, we thought Tania’s experiences, as Tis restrictive defnition of “architect” is fairly
a participant in this feld, provide a contemporary recent. It dates to the late nineteenth century.
example of the complexities surrounding the ev-o Professionalization was uneven in its progress,
lution of standards and women’s choices within the temporally and geographically. The process of
Introduction W 19
Citadel.indd 19 2014-12-08 11:22professionalization spanned the better part of the Workman in a Building, he who designs the Model,
nineteenth century. In North America, the rate of or draws the Plot, Plan or Draught of the whole
formation of associations followed no regiona-l patFabrick; whose Business it is to consider the whole
tern, and licensing laws were not enacted through- Manner and Method of the Building; and also to
out all ffy states and territories until 1968, and compute the Charge and Expence” according to
in Canada’s provinces and territories until 2001, Te Builder’s Dictionary, frst published in 1734 and
with the passage of the Northwest Territories widely circulated in British America. Te defnition
Architects Act, although all of the provinces had was perhaps too all-encompassing. As Dankmar
efective legislation by 1933. When Newfoundland Adler pointed out to the architects assembled at
and Labrador joined the Canadian Confederation the Second Annual Convention of the Western
in 1949, it enacted an Architects Act. When it was Association of Architects in 1885, “Every man… can
incorporated in 1980, the Architects Licensing constitute himself as an architect by calling himself
Board of Newfoundland and Labrador took over one… We are architects only because we have called
responsibility for registration matters from thato urselves architects, that is all.”
province’s architects association. Adler was speaking of the realities of practices
Moreover, the terms “architect” and “profe-s in his time, before the passage of distinct laws r -eg
sional” have not always been synonymous. Te ulating architecture as a profession. Until arch -i
professions—medical, legal, architectural—initially tecture became the object of professionalization in
“a premodern and preindustrial invention of eig-h North America, anyone who created architectural
teenth-century England,” as architectural historian drawings and supervised construction, be they a
Mary Woods points out in From Craf to Profession: designer, drafsman, builder, master artisan, or
Te Practice of Architecture in Nineteenth-Century master mechanic, or a gentleman, planter, or
merAmerica, had to evolve to respond to new con- chant who undertook building contracts, all could
ditions, namely capitalism, urbanization, and call themselves architects as they were ultimately
industrialization. in positions of authority and took responsibility for
Te term “architect” has its origins in the Greek the building. Tey directed the tradesmen and
artiword architekton, which translates to “master car- sans actually involved in preparing the materials,
penter.” Although the term fell out of commona ssembling the structural members, cladding the
usage in the Middle Ages, when those responsi- exterior walls, covering the roof, installing doors
ble for construction were referred to as mastera nd windows, partitioning rooms, and fnishing
masons and builders and patrons, the term “archi- the interiors. Yet even this elastic description omits
tect” was re-employed to describe the Brunelleschis, those people deemed to have superior skills or
Bramantes, and Michelangelos of the Renaissance. knowledge of building within a culture or comm-u
As Woods explains, they “were not building crafs- nity, those who had a combination of expertise in
men and did not belong to the construction guilds.” assorted crafs, calculation, aesthetics, and rituals
By the eighteenth century, an architect was “a Master and passed them on from one generation to the
20 W st orming t HE ol d Boys c it ad El’
Citadel.indd 20 2014-12-08 11:22Citadel.indd 233 2014-12-08 11:23Carla Blank and Tania Martin
STORMING THE OLD BOYS’ CITADEL
STORMING THE
omen” and “architecture” were once mutually exclusive. In an
“W91 address, Louise Blanchard Bethune declared, “it is hardly safe to
assert” that a connection even exists between the two words. Some women OLD BOYS’ CITADEL
didn’t agree.
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart (1823-1902) is credited with works
built in the present states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and
two Pioneer women Architects of nineteenth century north AmericABritish Columbia. Born Esther Pariseau in Saint-Elzéar, Québec, the
“Mother with a hammer” was honored by the State of Washington as one
of two people to represent it in the National Statuary Hall Collection in
Washington, D.C.
Louise Blanchard Bethune (1856-1913) designed and built works in the
Bufalo, New York area, including the Lafayette Hotel, which was one of the
eleven most luxurious hotels in the United States when it opened in 1904.
Mother Joseph’s and Louise Bethune’s signature buildings, Providence
Academy, Vancouver, Washington, and the Lafayette Hotel, Bufalo, New
York, are both listed on the United States’ National Register of Historic
Places. Both buildings are cases of historic preservation and adaptive reuse.
Carla Blank and Tania Martin breathe new life into the lives and works
of these two remarkable nineteenth-century women.
Carla Blank is the author of Live On Stage! and Rediscovering America: The Making
of Multicultural America, 1900–2000. Her articles have appeared in El Pais, The San
Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Green Magazine, Hungry Mind Review,
Counterpunch, and Konch. She lives in Oakland, California.
Tania Martin is a professor at the Université Laval School of Architecture in Québec
City where she has held the Canada Research Chair in Built Religious Heritage since
2005. She has published essays in scholarly journals on architectural history and North
American religious institutional structures. She lives in Québec City.
$29.95
www.barakabooks.com isbn 978-1-77186-013-0 Carla Blank and Tania Martin
Citadel.couv.2.indd 1 2014-11-18 11:55
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