She was a graduate of Syracuse University, at a time when few women were graduating in what was then a traditionally “male” field: architecture.
She founded Alpha Gamma Delta fraternity, broke ground as the first licensed female architect in the state of Michigan, and became the principal of a prominent Detroit architectural firm. Her name was Emily Butterfield.
Farmington’s own female architect is the subject of an upcoming history lecture hosted by Preservation Farmington: “Emily Helen Butterfield: Artist, Architect & Activist,” to be held the evening of Thursday, September 20 in Farmington Hills. The lecture will be presented by historian Ken Klemmer, chair of the Farmington Hills Historic District Commission.
Klemmer’s interest in Butterfield’s work is personal: He and his wife live in a 1920s Butterfield home, which they have painstakingly restored. Like many historic home owners, they’re proud of their home’s heritage, and they like to share its story.
The 6:30 p.m. event begins with a brief walking tour of several sites designed by Butterfield, all located in the Oaklands subdivision in Farmington Hills. A lecture follows, with a tour of Oakewood Cottage, the Klemmers’ home at 31805 Bond Blvd.
Admission is $5 per person.