Minnesota Women's Press: Elizabeth Scheu Close

 
An in-depth account of the life and career of Minnesota’s first modern architect

In 2001, I met 88-year-old architect Elizabeth Scheu Close. For a year, I interviewed Lisl, as she was known, in the living room of the home she and her husband designed. With every conversation, I became increasingly aware I was in the presence of an extraordinary woman and resolved to document her life and career in a book.

Lisl designed more than 250 modern houses in the state and was the first woman to serve as president of American Institute of Architects Minnesota, later becoming the first woman to receive that organization’s highest honor. Our wide-ranging discussions included specific buildings she designed. Her memory was sharp when asked to recall why she wanted to be an architect and how she managed to become one at a time when women architects were almost nonexistent.  

 

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