SAH Newsletter

SAH Archipedia: Pride Month

by SAH News | Jun 13, 2022

As we celebrate Pride Month this June, please enjoy the following highlights from SAH Archipedia.

multi-story building at corner of busy intersection


Photograph courtesy Sean Litchfeld

Mills House No. 1 in New York City was designed by Ernest Flagg, a prominent nineteenth-century architect and housing reform advocate. Like many Progressive New Yorkers of the late nineteenth century, Flagg was deeply interested in housing as a social issue. He advocated for the scientific planning of working-class housing, calling for the elimination of the common 25-foot-wide tenement. In its place he advocated the open-court plan: buildings of at least 50 feet in width, usually with an H or U plan, that provided more generous light and air. Mills House addressed a different demographic than the more common model tenement: single working men of lower socio-economic status. Despite the moralistic tone of its sponsors, as an institution open exclusively to single men, Mills House quickly became an epicenter of the bourgeoning gay community in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood that became a hotbed of LGBT civil rights activism in the mid-twentieth century. READ MORE

single-story white house with mint green roof trim

Azurest South | SAH ARCHIPEDIA (

Photograph courtesy Special Collections and University Archives, Johnston Memorial Library, Virginia State University

One of the commonwealth's earliest known Black female architects, Amaza Lee Meredith designed this Modernist residence and studio for herself. She also founded Virginia State University’s Fine Arts Department in the 1930s. Meredith resided in the house with her partner and fellow educator, Dr. Edna Meade Colson, until her death in 1984. After Colson's death in 1986, the university acquired the property and it now houses the VSU Alumni Association. READ MORE

circular fountain

Dupont Circle | SAH ARCHIPEDIA (

Photograph by Daderot

Since at least the 1960s and likely earlier, Dupont Circle has had an important role as civic space for political and social groups that were not welcome in other public spaces of Washington, D.C. The counterculture and civil rights activists of the 1960s, the appropriation of the circle by the gay community, and later the nascent punk and hardcore scene in the 1980s have not always been kind to the landscape, but their role should be acknowledged in the cultural landscape of the park. In particular, the gay community became an important part of the history of this urban community and the neighborhood is considered a historic locale in the development of American gay identity. READ MORE

two-story brown house with white steps to front door

Billy Haines Birthplace | SAH ARCHIPEDIA (

Photograph by Mark Mones

William “Billy” Haines (1900–1973) was one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors and the town's first openly gay movie star. The actor and interior designer grew up in this mid-nineteenth-century house in Staunton, Virginia. Haines's childhood home is a far cry from the glamour of the rich and famous. READ MORE


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Society of Architectural Historians
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