Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Book Review: The Life and Times of Lilian J. Rice; Master Architect

What a beautiful book!
Lilian J. Rice (1889 – 1938)
By biographer Diane YWelch
 What an amazing woman.
Too many women's lives are ignored. HIStory is full of biographies about men. Herstory is an important one to tell. This woman achieved much, while raising a family of four daughters. If you like the 1930s, architecture, old photographs, strong women, famous people, or biographies, you will like this one.

I had never heard of Lilian Rice, being Canadian. Some of the homes she built are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, several garnered her honor awards from the American Institute of Architects. There are amazing photos, architectural plans, and copies of paintings in the book. My favourite photo, however, is a 1927 one of Lilian Rice about to climb up into a Mack dump truck to operate it 'in order to work and keep the project on schedule!' It is also on the front cover! 

It's an amazing area: Rancho Santa Fe, a master-planned community catering to the rich and famous. If you like to examine the homes from the time, the photos will interest you. She worked with Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Bing Crosby, as well as movers and shakers of the times, to build or renovate their amazing houses. 

What I found interesting is the the foreword is written by Audrey Geisel, wife of the late Theodore J. Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss). Another review I wrote this week is a book by Dr. Seuss, You're Only Old Once

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@Barrie Summy


DUTA said...

Judging by your book review, I believe I would enjoy reading the book on Lilian J Rice. I'm an admirer of the architecture profession, and even more so, an admirer of women architects.
Great review, lovely picture!

Red said...

There are many stories to be told about people who achieved remarkable things in life as Lilian rice did.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sounds like an interesting read.

William Kendall said...

The name's familiar, so I must have come across her designs at some point.

Cloudbuster said...

What a fascinating person. I've not heard of her before either, and I'm from the States. I would like to read this!

Sarah Laurence said...

Very interesting! My brother is an architect and you'll be pleased to know his boss is a woman. Also the first employee Frank Lloyd Wright hired was a woman, Marion Griffin. I learned this while researching my work in progress, which features a teenaged girl who wants to be an architect. She would have loved this book.

Barrie said...

Rancho Santa Fe is my neck of the woods. I may be reviewing a book about an architect (not quite so local), so I enjoyed reading your review. Thank you, Jenn!