Elisabeth Coit

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Elisabeth Coit (1892 - 1987) was an American architect. Coit was born in Winchester, Massachusetts in 1892. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1911, attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and received her Bachelor of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1919. After graduation, she worked as a drafter and designer at the office of Grosvenor Atterbury until 1929. She then opened her own firm in New York City, which designed houses mainly for women outside of the city and for businesses in the state. She ran the firm until 1942. In 1941 she published "Design and Construction of the Dwelling Unit for the Low-Income Family," which was a study about low-income housing in the United States. From 1942 - 1947 she also was the technical standards editor for the United States Housing Authority's Public Housing Design in Washington, D.C., followed by a research position at Mayer and Whittersley from 1947 - 1948. She retired in 1962, as the principal planner for the New York City Housing Authority. Even in retirement she continued to serve as an adviser for government and private housing organizations.[1] In 1973, she was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician.

Coit contributed to numerous pamphlets about housing, was a book reviewer for the Architectural Record, and was the editor for the New York Metropolitan Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. She was the first woman to receive Langley Award from the American Institute of Architects. She is a fellow for AIA, and has also been awarded as a pioneer of architecture for the New York Chapter of the AIA.[1]

Some of her buildings include:[2]

  • Anna B. Van Nort House, Croton Heights, N.Y. (1932)
  • Cafeteria, Consumer's Cooperative Service, Inc., 136 E. 44th St., New York City (ca. 1939).
  • Philip Maguire House, Shrub Oaks, N.Y. (ca. 1940)
  • Winslow Sommaripa House, Boyce, Va. (not dated)

Some of her writings include: [2]

  • "Housing from Tenant's Viewpoint." Architectural Record 91 (April 1942): 71-84.
  • "Notes on the Design and Construction of the Dwelling Units for the Lower Income Family." The Octagon (1941):10-30, and (November 1941): 7-22
  • "A Plea for More Space." CHPC HOusing News 9, no. 3 (January 1951):3.
  • Report on Family Living in High Apartment Buildings. Washinton, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1965.
  • "Terra Cotta in MAnuta, 1444 A.D." Atlantic Terra Cotta 7, no. 4 (some photos and drawings by Coit).


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jane S. Knowles (1988). "87-M130 Coit, Elisabeth, 1892-1987. Papers, 1899 - 1987: A Finding Aid". Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Radcliffe College. Retrieved 5 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Allaback, Sarah (2008). The First American Women Architects. University of Illinois Press Urbana and Chicago.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>