Leila Ross Wilburn

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Leila Ross Wilburn
Leila Ross Wilburn.jpg
Born November 8, 1885
Macon, Georgia
Died November 12, 1967
Alma mater Agnes Scott College
Occupation Architect

Leila Ross Wilburn (1885–1967) was an early 20th-century architect, one of the first women in Georgia to enter that profession.

Early life[edit]

Leila Ross Wilburn was born in Macon, Georgia.[1] 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[edit]

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."[2] 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):


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".[2]


  1. ^ Craig, Robert M. (July 31, 2002). "Leila Ross Wilburn (1885-1967)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  2. ^ a b "Wilburn, Leila Ross". Georgia Women of Achievement. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  3. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 


External links[edit]