Chloethiel Woodard Smith

Chloethiel Woodard Smith: From Southwest to Northwest One

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 12:30pm
Led by 
Carolyn Crouch and Melissa R. Daniel

Head of the first large female-owned architecture firm in the U.S., Chloethiel Woodard Smith made an immense impact on modern Washington, D.C.  Most famously, she used the vocabulary of modernism to design enduring residential buildings in Southwest, D.C.  Urban renewal forced stark elimination of the 19th-century Southwest built environment, yet Woodard Smith’s architecture and vision as an urban planner exemplify why the federal government placed great hope in redevelopment. Multi-family buildings Chloethiel designed were intended to accommodate various income levels; the housing was open to all regardless of race.   This approach and policy also applied to Tyler House, a residential building she designed in D.C.’s Northwest One neighborhood.  Like Southwest, D.C. sixty years ago, this working class section of the city is poised for redevelopment.  What’s the future of Woodard Smith’s building?  What lessons learned from the 1960s urban renewal era will influence the future of Northwest One?

Presented by Carolyn Crouch and Melissa R. Daniel

Carolyn Crouch is the founder of Washington Walks and a resident of Southwest, D.C.  Capitol Park, where she first rented an apartment upon arriving in Washington, was designed by Chloethiel Woodard Smith.

Melissa R. Daniel is an architectural designer in Maryland, and the creator and host of the Architecture is Political, a podcast where Black and Brown folks have a conversation about architecture. She served as executive co-chair of the 2017 AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, and was a recipient of a 2018 AIA Associates Award.  She lived in Tower House, the Chloethiel Woodard Smith building in Northwest One, until age 16.

COMPANION EVENT: Our colleagues at the National Buildling Museum are also offering an online program about Chloethiel Woodward Smith Wednesday, March 17!  "D.C.'s Mid-Century Master: Chloethiel Woodard Smith and the Livable City" will take place at 6:30 p.m. and feature Neil Flanagan, architectural designer and writer, Peter Sefton, independent architectural historian, and Catherine Zipf, architectural historian and author.  REGISTER HERE.