On April 15th, 1928 the woman who would be known as the first African American female architect was born in Harlem. Her name was Norma Merrick Sklarek. Her father was Dr. Walter Ernest Merrick who was a physician, and her mother was Amy Willoughby who worked as a seamstress. Both of her parents were Trinidadian.
Norma attended and graduated from Hunter High School. She then went on to attend to attend Columbia University’s Banard College. From there she went on to Columbia University’s School of Architecture. In 1950, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Despite her esteemed educational track record, she was unable to find work in her field after graduating from college. However she went on to work for the New York Department of Public Works.
In 1954 she decided to take the challenging four day architecture licensure exam for the State of New…
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