Hayden received her B.A. in architecture from Mount Holyoke College in 1966. She also studied at Cambridge University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she obtained a professional degree. She is the widow of sociologist and novelist, Peter H. Marris and is the mother of Laura Hayden Marris.
She founded a Los Angeles based non-profit arts and humanities group called The Power of Place which was active from 1984 to 1991. The goal of the organization was to, "celebrate the historic landscape of the center of the city and its ethnic diversity. Under her direction, collaborative projects on an African American midwife's homestead, a Latina garment workers' union headquarters, and Japanese-American flower fields engaged citizens, historians, artists, and designers in examining and commemorating the working lives of ordinary citizens."  This is documented in the text, The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History.
- American Library Association Notable Book
- Award for Excellence in Design Research from the National Endowment for the Arts
- Paul Davidoff Award for an outstanding book in Urban Planning from the ACSP
- Diana Donald Award for feminist scholarship from the American Planning Association
- A Field Guide to Sprawl, W W Norton, 2004 W W Norton page
- American Yard -- Poems
- Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000
- The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History
- Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life, W W Norton, 2002 W W Norton page
- The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities
- Seven American Utopias: The Architecture of Communitarian Socialism, 1790-1975
- 'Challenging the American Domestic Ideal', featured in Women in American Architecture: A Historic and Contemporary Perspective
- 'Catharine Beecher and the Politics of Housework', featured in Women in American Architecture: A Historic and Contemporary Perspective
- Building Suburbia, Pantheon books, ISBN 0-375-42128-9
- Redesigning the American Dream, W.W. Norton & Company, ISBN 0-393-73094-8
- Seven American Utopias, The MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-08082-6
- "Hayden, Dolores". Yale School of Architecture. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Video: Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn at LIVE from the New York Public Library, March 7, 2008
- Official site
- Yale "Gender Matters article
- Interview on Weekend America September 27, 2008
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