In 2014, Baraka Books will publish Storming the Oldboys Citadel, Pioneer Women Architects of the Nineteenth Century North America by Carla Blank and Tania Martin.
This book will focus on the lives and works of two of the very first women of European American ancestry to practice architecture in North America during the nineteenth century. Mother Joseph du Sacré-Coeur, a Sister of Providence (born Esther Pariseau in 1823, in St. Elzéar, Québec; died Vancouver, Washington, 1902) is credited with works built in the present states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, northern Oregon, and in British Columbia. Louise Blanchard Bethune (born Jennie Louise Blanchard in 1856, in upstate New York; died New York City 1913) designed and built works in the Buffalo, New York area.
Carla Blank and Tania Martin recently travelled to Buffalo, New York, and Seattle and Vancouver, Washington, to research the book. The Wall Street Journal has run this article about the Lafayette hotel in the September 11 issue of the paper.
“How Buffalo’s Lafayette Hotel Went from Fleabag to Fabulous
I became interested in the Lafayette Hotel in Buffalo, N.Y.,when my partner, novelist Ishmael Reed, returned from a trip to his hometown. He reported that he happened to walk into the lobby of the hotel while attending a Buffalo book fair, and noticed a plaque, which cited Louise Blanchard Bethune (1856-1913) as the building’s architect and for being the first American woman to open her own architecture office (1881) and the first woman to become a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (1889). He was astonished that a woman in the 19th Century could find a place in a profession so adamantly dominated by men.
Carla Blank is the author of the textbook, Live On Stage! (Dale Seymour, an imprint of Pearson Education, 1997, 2000), the historical reference, Rediscovering America, the Making of Multicultural America, 1900-2000 (Three Rivers Press, 2003) and co-editor with Ishmael Reed of the anthology PowWow, Charting the Fault Lines of the American Experience, Short Fiction from Then to Now (Da Capo Books, 2009). She was contributing editor on three other anthology projects edited by Ishmael Reed: From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002 (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003); MultiAmerica, Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace (Viking, 1997) and Califia, The California Poetry (Y’Bird Books, 1979); in addition to publishing topical essays related to arts and culture in the San Francisco Chronicle, El Pais, Hungry Mind Review, Green Magazine and online at CounterPunch and Konch magazines. She lives in Oakland, California.
Tania Martin has published essays in many scholarly journals related to her investigations into the history of architecture, the built environment and North American religious institutional structures. She is a Professor at the Université Laval School of Architecture where she has held the Canada Research Chair in Built Religious Heritage since 2005; served a four year term as an appointed member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada; and is also affiliated with several professional associations, including the Vernacular Architecture Forum. She lives in Quebec City.