Meldora Stritesky from Spokane holds the distinction of being the first formally trained female architect to practice in the State of Washington. In fact, she ranks among the earliest females in the United States to have received a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Stritesky recieved her degree from the University of Illinois in 1897.
Meldora was born in Rantoul, Illinois on March 12, 1872. Details of her early career are unknown, but she is credited with preparing plans for the Y.W.C.A in Gifford, IL. She moved to Spokane around 1905 and became a member of the Spokane Architect’s Club. She worked as a draftsman for Spokane architect John K. Dow. Ms. Meldora “Ice” married fellow University of Illinois alum Lewis Stritesky on August 22, 1906 in Spokane.
Unfortunately, Meldora died in childbirth on May 2, 1908 and was buried in Spokane at the Greenwood Cemetery. Her husband was laid to rest next to her in 1951.
By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - February 2012