Amethyst House, Bayley-Seton Hospital Halfway House for Women, 75 Vanderbilt Ave, Staten Island, NY 10304
Arledge House, 1842 Rose Villa St, Pasadena, CA 91107
Bellomo House, 7455 Soundview Ave, Southold, NY 11971
Bondini's Restaurant, 62 W 9th St, New York, NY 10011
Bronx Children's Psychiatric Center, Adolescent Day Treatment Center, 1180 Rev James A Polite Ave, Bronx, NY 10459
Bronx Psychiatric Center, Community Residence, 2747 University Ave, Bronx, NY 10468
Cardamon Lane Condominiums, Liberty St, Little Ferry, NJ 07643
City College of New York, 160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031
Cooper Union, 30 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003
DeSalvo House, 138 W 120th St, New York, NY 10027
Dominguez House, 424 Dahill Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11218
East Islip Housing, Hollins Ln & Lavender Ln, East Islip, NY 11730
Fifth Street Women's Building, 330 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003
Fox and Whitby House, 126 Springy Banks Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937
Fox and Whitby House, 3 Sheridan Square, New York, NY 10014
Great Neck Elderly Housing, 700 Middle Neck Rd, Great Neck, NY 11023
Hayden and Maris House, 8318 Ridpath Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046
International Women's Tribune Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
Jacobs House, 51 8th Ave, Sea Cliff, NY 11579
Johnson House, 231 E 77th St, New York, NY 10075
Knowlton House, 4961 River Rd, Point Pleasant, PA 18950
Leser House, 129 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011
Lobel House, 42 Hedges Banks Dr, East Hampton, NY 11937
Long Island University, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Maple Knoll Village, 11100 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45246
Orient Central Cemetery, Orient, NY 11957
Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, Community Residence, 201 Garden Pl, West Hempstead, NY 11552
Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, Community Residence, 3531 Oceanside Rd, Oceanside, NY 11572
Pratt Institute, 200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Rodriguez House, 195 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Sokolow House, 498 Winding Rd, Ardsley, NY 10502
Spyer House, 2 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Spyer House, 254 Tuckahoe Ln, Southampton, NY 11968
Thu Duc Polytechnic University, 53 Võ Văn Ngân, Linh Chiểu, Thủ Đức, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Thursh House, 239 Piermont Ave, Piermont, NY 10968
Townline Rd, Hauppauge, NY 11788
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, Single Room Occupancy residence, 334 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Valentine Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
Vaughan House, 201 W 138th St, New York, NY 10030
Vinson House, 2 34th St, Stony Brook, NY 11790
Wallace House, 1058-68 Pacific St, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Women's Liberation Center, 243 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011
Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520
Noel Phyllis Birkby (December 6, 1932 – April 13, 1994) was an American architect, feminist, filmmaker, teacher, and founder of the Women's School of Planning and Architecture.
For Birkby, professional success required her to live a closeted life. After graduate school, she suffered from depression. During the late 1960s, she was introduced to feminism, which she had thought was "mostly about housewives in the suburbs." In this attitude, Birkby was like many bisexual and lesbian women of the period yet to find signs of a visible social justice movement, and put off by the mainstream women’s movement.
Beginning in 1971, Birkby became active in professional organizations for women in architecture and urban planning. Birkby also began documenting the women's movement in film, photography, oral history, and collected posters, manifestos, clippings, and memorabilia. After resigning from Davis Brody Associates, and coming out as a gay woman, Birkby opened her own private architecture practice and taught architecture design. In 1973, Birkby began to explore feminist theory in the context of contemporary architecture and teaching practices, and for example, she led a series of "environmental fantasy" workshops throughout the country, and Europe, to encourage women to imagine "their ideal living environment by abandoning all constraints and preconceptions."
These workshops were created with the intention to contrast the term Birkby coined, “patritecture” or the architecture of the patriarchy. Systems of domination are in place in the architecture of all buildings. Birkby wrote often about how even the architecture of structures are about power and domination over marginalized groups, especially women. In a 1981 article for MS Magazine, Birky wrote, “I am troubled that no matter how much rhetoric is expounded about equal rights and the full humanity of women, if the physical world we build does not reflect this, we speak in empty phrases." Her comparison goes as far as to say that the accommodation for women in physical spaces is just as important as physical violence against women. It is because of this that she started holding workshops, to have women explore spaces created by women for women. Birkby researched vernacular architectural created by women, some of which she later published.
Cooper Union, 30 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003
Yale University, New Haven, CT
In 1974, New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable published the American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s “appalling” statistics on national membership : 24,000 men and 300 women. By then, Birkby had become active in the feminist movement, defining herself as a lesbian, and joined "CR One," a Consciousness raising group composed of dynamic and radical theorists and writers, such as Kate Millett, Sidney Abbott, Barbara Love and Alma Routsong. As a member of "CR One," Birkby contributed to visible, activist projects, such as the homesteading a building at 330 East 5th Street, in the East Village section of Manhattan, to establish a temporary residence for women. That same year, Birkby joined forces with other trailblazing women architects, such as Judith Edelman, to create the Alliance of Women in Architecture in New York. A firebrand advocate, Edelman challenged the 1974 AIA national convention with the objectionable fact that women had only represented 1.2 percent of American registered architects.
An Architecture Symposium held at Washington University, St.Louis, Missouri in 1974 became the inspiration for the Women's School of Planning and Architecture. The financial support for the symposium came from a grant from HUD, and sponsor organizations, including WSPA, American Indian National Bank, Coalition of 100 Black Women of D.C., Center for Community Change, Clearinghouse for Community Based Free Standing Educational Institutions, National Association of Community Cooperatives, National Congress of Neighborhood Women, National Council of Negro Women, National Hispanic Housing Coalition, Rural American Women, and the Southeast Women’s Employment Coalition. Attendees left the event with a vision for a new educational organization led by women, for women, which would be a “free space for self-actualization of the students and the faculty," and not “one more place for the same old stuff."
As the feminist movement began to wane, in the late 1970s, Birkby's focus shifted from feminism to professional enterprise. However, teaching positions and architectural commission became increasingly difficult to obtain, and the Women's School of Planning and Architecture closed. Birkby would eventually be diagnosed with breast cancer. In the final stage of illness, Birkby was cared for by a friends who called themselves the "Sisters of Birkby." On April 13, 1994, Birkby died in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. A memorial to Noel Phyllis Birkby at Orient Cemetery, Suffolk County, New York reads Courage.
Following Birkby's death in 1994, Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts, hosted a two-day exhibition, entitled "'Amazonian Activity': a Celebration of the Life of Noel Phyllis Birkby" (1997) on the occasion of the opening of the Noel Phyllis Birkby Archive, bequeathed to the Sophia Smith Collection, Women's History Archive. Sherrill Redmon, collections director, organized the event. A symposium entitled "Radical Feminism and Lesbian Culture in the 1970s and Today" included women's movement activists: Sidney Abbott, coauthor of "Sappho Was a Right-On Woman" ; Bertha Harris, author of "Lover"; Kate Millett, author of "Sexual Politics"; and Alma Routsong, author of Patience and Sarah, published under pen name Isabel Miller.
Throughout the 1970s to 1990s, Birkby produced photographs, audio and video recordings, and over 150 silent films on the women's movement, gay and lesbian activism, and lesbian culture in New York City. Films documented Birkby's architecture, personal life, and travel. Birkby's media is also held in the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College.
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