|Ethel B. Furman|
|Born||Ethel Madison Bailey
July 6, 1893
Richmond, Virginia, United States
|Died||February 24, 1976(aged 82)|
|Spouse(s)||William H. Carter (1912-1918)
Joseph D. Furman (1918-)
Born Ethel Madison Bailey in Richmond, Virginia, she was the daughter of Margaret M. Jones Bailey and Madison J. Bailey. Her father was the second licensed Black building contractor in Richmond. She moved to New York City, where she studied architecture privately.
She returned to Richmond in 1921 and began designing houses for locals. Furman worked with her father, and also raised three children. During this time she worked other jobs to supplement income to raise her family. As an African-American woman she experienced discrimination in the architecture community, as local bureaucrats refused to accept her as the architect of record on her own projects. Consequently, she would often have to submit her job proposals through male contractors with whom she worked. In the late 1920s she was the only woman to attend the Hampton Institute's annual builder's conference. Up into the 1940s she trained in drafting through Chicago Technical College. Furman designed over 200 churches and residences in Virginia and two churches in Liberia.
In 1985 a park in Richmond was named after her. In 2010 Furman was honored as one of the Library of Virginia's "Virginia Women in History" for her civic work and accomplishments in the field of architecture.
- "Ethel Bailey Furman". Virginia Women in History. Library of Virginia. 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Dreck Spurlock Wilson (ed.), African-American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary, 1865-1945, Routledge, 2004, p. 222.
- Selden Richardson, Maurice Duke (ed.), Built by Blacks: African American Architecture and Neighborhoods in Richmond, Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2008, p. 92.
- Allaback, Sarah (2008). The First American Women Architects. University of Illinois Press.
- Photograph showing Ethel Furman as the sole woman at Negro Contractors' Conference at Hampton Institute, February 14, 1928.
- Ethel Bailey Furman Memorial Park.
- "Virginia Women in History: Ethel Bailey Furman". Library of Virginia. Retrieved 2 March 2015.