Margaret (Molly) Lester
2019 Fitch Mid-Career Fellow
Preserving What Is Missing: In Conversation about the Architecture of Minerva Parker Nichols

Focusing on the portfolio of architect Minerva Parker Nichols, Margaret Lester’s research examines the histories we don’t preserve, towards the goal of testing new methodlogies to identify, evaluate and commemorate a body of work that defies traditional preservation frameworks.

As the first woman in the country to practice independently, and the architect for dozens of female-driven and -funded commissions in the late 19th century, Nichols is both socially and architecturally significant in American history. Yet, like many notable women, she is consistently omitted from historical records. Thus, Minerva Parker Nichols’ career presents an opportunity to prototype new ways to talk about non-traditional narratives and sustain unconventional historic places. Lester’s project uses storytelling in various forms and scales to fuel a forward-looking conversation about the past.

Image: Architect Minerva Parker Nichols.