On this day in Alabama history: Alabama woman paves the way in architecture

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama woman paves the way in architecture
Portrait of Helen Davis. (Glomerata, Bhamwiki)

July 7, 1936

While growing up in Anniston, Helen Davis was fascinated with the building process and dreamed of becoming an architect. After graduating from Ward-Belmont School in Nashville, she attended the School of Architecture at Alabama Polytechnic Institute.

On July 7, 1936, Davis completed registration from the Alabama Board of Architects, making her the first licensed female architect in the state. She had begun working at Miller, Martin and Lewis in Birmingham.

After several years, Davis and her husband, Charles, who was also an architect, moved to the firm of Van Keuren, Davis and Co., known today as Davis Architects. She left that company during the 1960s to open her own practice.

In honor of her contributions as a pioneer in the field of architecture, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley declared Nov. 6, 2003, “Helen Sellers Davis Day.” That same year, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction.

Read more at Bhamwiki.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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