12/17/2013 02:17 pm ET

First Ever Woman Wins American Institute of Architects Prize … Posthumously


The American Institute of Architects has announced the winner of its 2014 AIA Gold Medal, and for the first time in over a century, the recipient will be a woman: Julia Morgan. The AIA Gold Medal, voted on annually, is considered to be the profession’s highest honor that an individual can receive. It just so happens that Morgan died in 1957, but you know what they say: better late than never!

Female architects have been very much in the news lately — mainly for the discrimination they still face — but as a blog post at the Architectural Record explains, Morgan’s win wasn’t just timed to the zeitgeist; it came about through “an orchestrated campaign” led by a number of prominent female architects and politicians. California Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote to the committee, “Julia Morgan is unquestionably among the greatest American architects of all time and a true California gem.”