Minerva Parker Nichols: The Search for a Forgotten Architect

University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design



Millwood Justice Residence, designed by Minerva Parker Nichols, Narberth, PA. Photo by Elizabeth Felicella.


Portrait of Minerva Parker Nichols, ca. 1880. Image courtesy of the collection of Carrie Baker. 


New Century Club, designed by Minerva Parker Nichols, Philadelphia, PA. Image courtesy of the collection of Carrie Baker.

The first exhibition to survey the work of architect Minerva Parker Nichols (1862–1949) will reexamine her significant contributions to Philadelphia’s built environment at the turn of the 20th century and spotlight the broader legacy of women in design. The exhibition will be co-curated by architectural photographer Elizabeth Felicella, historian Molly Lester, and the Weitzman School of Design’s archivist Heather Isbell Schumacher and curator and collections manager of architectural archives William Whitaker. An accompanying publication will feature newly commissioned photographs by Felicella of Nichols’ surviving buildings along with drawings and archival materials. In addition to presenting a deeper understanding of Nichols’ work, the project aims to address erasures in historical collection, preservation, and interpretation. The project team will investigate strategies for more equitable historical practices, working with architects, preservationists, historians, and archivists.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.