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Gertrude Sawyer & Rose Greely: Homage to Maryland’s Early Women Architects

July 23, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Free Presentation by Katie Irwin, AIA & Jillian Storms, AIA, To be held in the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory

As part of the Early Women of Architecture Exhibit tenure at the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum (June 29 – August 29), there will be a special presentation  focusing on Gertrude Sawyer, AIA, and Rose Greely, FASLA, both of whom contributed to the design of the Jefferson Patterson Estate.  Rose Greely became the first woman licensed to practice architecture in Washington DC in 1925 and opened her own practice the following year. She received her degree at the Cambridge School of Domestic and Landscape Architecture for Women where she met Gertrude Sawyer. After graduating, both worked for same Washington architect and collaborated on numerous projects throughout their lives.  One such project was the estate of US Ambassador Jefferson Patterson at Point Farm in Calvert County. From 1933-35, Rose designed the landscapes, creating a strong framework in the garden spaces.

Gertrude Sawyer, AIA, went on to maintained a nearly 40 year professional relationship with the Pattersons, designing 26 new residential and farm buildings, as well as completing renovations to several existing houses on the property. Her reputation for quality design gained her numerous other clients in the area. The Patterson Estate eventually became a park and museum operated by the State of Maryland. When the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory was set to be built on the park grounds, at the age of 95, Gertrude reviewed the drawings. To the very end, she was the consummate design professional.


Katie Irwin, AIA

Katie Irwin is a licensed architect and certified interior designer working at Quinn Evans Architects, which was the firm responsible for completing the condition assessment and treatment recommendations for Historic Structures Report on the Patterson Center. In her role as the project architect / historic architect on the project, she was privileged to have a unique peek at Gertrude Sawyer’s drawings and handwritten correspondence with her client and contractors contained in the Jefferson Patterson archives.

She has a B.S. in Architecture, a B.A. in Art History, a Masters of Architecture, and a certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, College Park. She studied art history, architecture, and preservation in various programs in France, England, Italy, Egypt, and Cape May, NJ. Katie participated in the US/ICOMOS intern exchange program in Split, Croatia at the Mediterranean Centre for Built Heritage. She also studied at the Victorian Society in America Summer School in Newport, RI. Her primary projects have dealt with historic residences and cultural institutions of the early 20th century.  She has a specialized interest in the design and preservation of historic interiors.

Jillian Storms, AIA

Jillian Storms, AIA, is Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and also serves on its Board of Directors. She organized and curated the “Early Women of Architecture in Maryland” exhibit and was involved in much of its research. She once served as President of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, which is the sponsoring agency for this exhibit, and curated a number of their exhibits.  She is a past board member on the Friends of Maryland Olmsted Parks & Landscapes and chaired their Inventory and Research Committee.

She has a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning at Goucher College with a program emphasis in Historic Preservation.  Professionally, she is a School Facilities Architect for the Maryland State Department of Education, assisting jurisdictions throughout Maryland with their K-12 public school projects.


This exhibit would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. We grateful to: the Maryland Humanities Council; Baltimore Architecture Foundation; Cho Benn Holback + Associates; Hord Coplan Macht; AECOM; Ayers Saint Gross; EHT Traceries; Geraldine Pontius, AIA; K.Lechleiter Architect LLC; Myrna Poirier AIA Architect; Penza Bailey Architects; SM+P Architects; Ziger/Snead LLP Architects, and the in-kind reproduction services of Maryland Reprographics Inc.

For more information on the exhibit and upcoming events, visit our websites:

www.facebook.com/AIA.WAM and



July 23, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Jefferson Patterson Museum
10515 Mackall Road
St. Leonard, MD 20685 United States
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