McCain Library’s archival collections related to alumna architect Leila Ross Wilburn are featured prominently in the September 9, 2016 online issue of Atlanta Magazine. The full article is available here: http://www.atlantamagazine.com/homeandgarden/pioneering-female-architect-leila-ross-wilburn-one-atlantas-prolific/.
The article reports that, “After graduating* from Agnes Scott Institute (now Agnes Scott College) and studying architectural drafting with a private tutor, the 21-year-old traveled around the country to study the emerging Arts and Crafts movement—using her Kodak camera to capture some 5,000 photographs of residences that inspired her. Returning to Atlanta, she apprenticed with B.R. Padgett and Son, where her first commission was a three-story YMCA gym at Georgia Military Academy, now Woodward Academy. Just three years later, Wilburn established her own practice.”
If one visits “Atlanta’s Intown neighborhoods where early-20th-century houses and bungalows remain,” the results of Wilburn’s house plans can be seen, particularly in Decatur’s MAK neighborhood adjacent to Agnes Scott College. Her homes also still exist in Inman Park, Ansley Park, and Midtown.
Wilburn’s plan books are the only ones known to have been published by a female architect.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MCCAIN LIBRARY
*Note from McCain Library: Wilburn attended Agnes Scott Institute but did not graduate from there as stated in the article.