Leila Ross Wilburn
|Leila Ross Wilburn|
|Died||1967 (aged 81–82)|
|Alma mater||Agnes Scott College|
Leila Ross Wilburn was born in Macon, Georgia. In the midst of the economic depression of 1895, her family moved to Decatur, Georgia. There, she attended Agnes Scott Institute and took private lessons in architectural drafting. After taking an architectural tour of the country, Leila returned home to join the Atlanta firm of Benjamin R. Padgett and Son as a trainee, making her one of only two Georgia women to work in the male-dominated field of architecture.
At age 22, she received her first commission, a three-story building that became the YMCA gymnasium at Georgia Military Academy (now Woodward Academy). She continued designing single family homes and apartment homes throughout midtown Atlanta and Decatur, many designed in the Craftsman style that is still popular today.
Career as an independent architect
In 1909 Wilburn opened her own firm. She insisted that the design and construction of the American home should not be reserved only for those who could afford an architect. To reach a wider audience, the young architect produced a series of “Pattern Books,” from which people could choose a design and purchase construction plans. In a half-century of work, she left a legacy of homes, apartments and commercial buildings in the southeast." Today, her homes may be seen in the MAK Historic District of Decatur, Georgia, and Ansley Park, Druid Hills and Candler Park and East Lake in Atlanta. Some of her buildings are listed among the finest examples of 20th Century architecture. A number of her works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Each year in Decatur, her former home, administers the Leila Ross Wilburn Award to those who excel in historic preservation.
Works include (attribution):
- Horner Houses, 304 and 308 N. Fisher St. Burlington, NC (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- Kidd House, 222 Hartwell Rd. Lavonia, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- Martin Historic District, Along both sides of GA 17 and the Norfolk Southern RR tracks Martin, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- Piedmont Park Apartments, 266 11th St. Atlanta, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- Piedmont and Third Condominiums, previously known as The Chatham Court, 690 Piedmont Ave. Atlanta, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- Alexander Stephens Skelton House, 214 Athens St. Hartwell, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- One or more works in Ayden Historic District, roughly bounded by Verna St., Peachtree St., E. College St. and Planters St. Ayden, NC (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- One or more works in Collins Avenue Historic District, Collins Ave. Acworth, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- One or more works in Greenville Street-LaGrange Street Historic District, LaGrange, Ninnons, Greenville, Powell, Reese, Powell and Buchanan Sts. Newnan, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- One or more works in West Avenue-Roberts Street Residential Historic District, Between Mason and Jones Sts. Lavonia, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
- One or more works in Winnona Park Historic District, Roughly bounded by E. College Ave., Avery St., S. Columbia Dr., and Mimosa Dr. Decatur, GA (Wilburn, Leila Ross), NRHP-listed
In 1961, Wilburn was welcomed into the Society of American Registered Architects, an honor which is reflected in the fact that the membership certificate at the time still read, “Having given evidence of his qualifications....”
Wilburn was inducted as a Georgia Woman of Achievement in 2003 as "one of the pioneering women architects in the United States".
- Craig, Robert M. (July 31, 2002). "Leila Ross Wilburn (1885-1967)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Wilburn, Leila Ross". Georgia Women of Achievement. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "Historic Decatur". City of Decatur. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Piedmont Park Apartments". City of Atlanta. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Leila Ross Wilburn Plan Books". Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Piedmont Park Apartments". Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "A Tour of Leila Ross Wilburn Homes". Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Wilburn House Condominiums". Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "370 Brooks Avenue". 1999 Candler Park Tour Of Homes. Archived from the original on 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "MAK Historic District Gallery of Wilburn Homes". Retrieved 2011-12-13.