Did you know that today only 23.3% of all American-based architects are women? Considering March is Women’s History Month when we commemorate the vital contributions made by women throughout U.S. history, I thought I’d highlight a pioneering Chicagoland woman architect who worked in this male-dominated field. Though she designed over 150 houses as an independent architect, Jean Wiersema Wehrheim’s career was cut short when she died at the age of 50 in September of 1977. Yet she left a lasting mark on a special community in the western suburbs.
What an interesting woman! Did you know Jean designed some dome residences in Lombard towards the end of her life? (As you might suspect, they are gone now but were on Luther Ave in Lombard.)
I would like to thank you for sharing my mom's life's story she had a heart of gold filled with love for everyone see met may God watch over her and keep her safe
Good news - the recently sold house you mentioned has not become a teardown. I live a few doors away, have lived in the community for over 35 years and am happy to report the new residents are working to improve and update the current house. Jean's influence is still apparent in many homes here, even if they were not designed by her. In our 1st home in the neighborhood, for example, we had her signature electrical outlets at the same height as door handles. This created a simpler line of interruptions aesthetically, but as a young mom I appreciated that it also kept the electrical outlets out of the reach of crawling babies! We love our community and though it has evolved, it remains a unique mix of housing stock as well as interesting and diverse neighbors. Deb on Rochdale Circle.