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Early Women of Architecture Visit Lexington Park

Women of Architecture

The St Mary’s County Library and the St Mary’s County Historical Society are jointly hosting the traveling exhibit, Early Women of Architecture in Maryland on display now 1 at the Lexington Park Library, 21677 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Blvd, Lexington Park, MD 20653.

The St. Mary’s County Art Council and the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects have provided support for the exhibit’s visit, which will culminate March 1, 2020, kicking off Women’s History Month with a talk by Jillian Storms, the exhibits curator.

Ms. Storms’ presentation, March 1 from 2-3:30 pm, will focus on two of the architects with legacies in St. Mary’s County, Gertrude Sawyer and Rose Greely.

“Women have professionally contributed to the design of architecture in Maryland for the last 80 years,” said Ms. Storm.

The Women in Architecture Committee of AIA Baltimore, in collaboration with the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, embarked on a project to assemble the stories of women pioneers in the profession. With assistance from students at Morgan State University and a Maryland Humanities starter grant, they created an exhibit that has toured the mid-Atlantic region and will now be shown in Maryland’s Mother County.

The exhibit showcases twelve extraordinary women of architecture and landscape architecture who designed projects throughout Maryland between 1920 and 1970. Two of the women, Rose Greely, FASLA (1887-1969) and Gertrude Sawyer, AIA (1895-1996) undertook projects in St. Mary’s County. Rose Greely, the first woman to receive architectural registration in Washington, DC, in 1926, designed the grounds of the Reconstructed 1676 Maryland State House in St Mary’s City from 1933 to 1934. Projects of Gertrude Sawyer, the second woman to receive architectural registration in Maryland in the 1930s, included the Cremona Estate in Mechanicsville and Jubilee Farm in Leonardtown. She was later hired by the County in 1949 to restore Tudor Hall into St Mary’s County’s first library in Leonardtown.

“Many of the women featured in the exhibit practiced and succeed during the lean years of the Depression and World War II with perseverance and determination ~ truly inspirational,” commented Michael Blackwell, Director of the St Mary’s County Libraries. “Lexington Park Library is honored to be able to present this important exhibit to County residents and visitors.”

“It is entirely appropriate that we partner with the St. Mary’s County Library to bring this exhibit to the County,” said Peter LaPorte, Executive Director of the St Mary’s County Historical Society. “Following the Library’s move to new headquarters, Tudor Hall became the Historical Society’s home in 1984. The building remains an important part of the County’s history.”

The exhibit will be on display at The Lexington Park Library, 21677 FDR Boulevard in Lexington Park, MD from January 16 to March 1, 2020. Library hours are: Monday-Thursday 9 am-8 pm, Friday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm, and Sunday 1 -5 pm. Ms. Storms’ talk March 1 from 2 to 3:30 pm is eligible for Continuing Education Units to professionals through the AIA Chesapeake Bay Chapter.

The Historical Society is the repository of a unique collection of Maryland memorabilia and museum pieces displayed on the first floor of Tudor Hall and in the Old Jail Museum at 41625 Courthouse Drive in historic Leonardtown. The 18th-century Tudor Hall also serves as headquarters of the society and houses the Historical Society’s Research Center.

The Business Office and Bookstore are open from 9 am to 4 pm, Wednesday through and Friday as well as museum tours. Admission is free. For group tours, please call our Business Office a week in advance at 301-475-2467.

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