Ruth Maxon Adams (1883–1970)
Ruth Maxon Adams made her greatest impact at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY and in the surrounding neighborhood of Arlington. Employed at Vassar for nearly thirty years, she updated dormitories, offices, and social spaces. For Vassar faculty members she built five off-campus faculty houses in a variety of historical styles. She was also the architect for the Yelping Hill summer colony in West Cornwall, CT, designing renovations and nine new homes in total (including two nearby). She was a rare example of a solo woman design practitioner prior to World War I in the United States. The short essay by professor emeritus Nicholas Adams about Ruth Maxon Adams included here will form the basis for an entry in the Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation’s website-encyclopedia, Pioneering Women of American Architecture for which it was written. A list of Ruth Adams’ works also appears here.