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March is Women’s History Month – Featuring
Henrietta Dozier, First woman architect in Southern U.S.

Henrietta Cuttino Dozier (1872–1947) -Photo: Creative Commons

2015 photo of old, 1924 Federal Reserve Building, Jacksonville
-CC Photo

By Tami Stevenson

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we are featuring Henrietta Dozier who was credited as being the first female architect in the Southern United States. Born in 1872, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Boston, in 1899, and worked extensively in Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida.

A detailed interview conducted in 1939 by Rose Shepherd is available at the Library of Congress, where Dozier gives a first-hand account of her life.

For the most part, she said, during the 1939 interview, she was treated fairly, but highlighted a few incidents where she lost the bid. Instead of being told it was because she was a woman, they told her it was because she could not vote (Women were not allowed to vote until 1920).

“I have always had to compete with men, yes. In submitting designs, plans, bids, I have never asked any consideration at any time because I happened to be a woman,” Dozier was quoted during the interview.

She told one interesting incident about a crazy plumber that she had hired for a job in Atlanta that came at her without warning with a 2 by 4 saying: “God A’mighty never intended a man to be bossed by a woman!” She was saved by the contractor who wrestled the plumber to the ground.

One of the buildings she designed in 1924, and was particularly proud of, is the old Federal Reserve Bank Building, located at the southwest corner of Church and Hogan Street in Jacksonville, which still stands today.