Lois Lilley Howe

Personal Data

Lois Lilley Howe was born on September 25, 1864, in Cambridge, the daughter of Estes Howe and his wife, Lois Lilly (sic) White.

Lois Howe died on September 13, 1964, in Cambridge.

She never married.

Lois Howe studied at the Museum of Fine Arts School from 1882 to 1886. She then attended a two-year “partial course” offered by MIT’s School of Architecture, completing the course in 1890 (the only woman in the class).  She began her careeras a draftsman in the offices of Allen and Kenway (in 1893, while with Allen and Kenway, she placed second in a competition to design the Women’s Building at the Chicago World’s Fair).  She opened her own office as an architect in 1894 (she was listed as an artist in the 1895 Boston City Directory and as an architect thereafter).

In 1913, she took Eleanor Manning, a draftsman in her office, as a partner, forming the firm of Lois L. Howe and Manning. It is believed to be the first architectural firm in Boston founded by women and the second in the United States. In 1926, Mary Almy, who also had been a draftsman with the firm, was made a partner, forming Howe, Manning, and Almy. The firm continued until 1937 when Lois Howe retired, and Eleanor Manning and Mary Almy established separate offices.

Lois L. Howe and Manning was best known for its residential work in the Colonial Revival style. About 20 percent of its work was in Cambridge, where Lois L. Howe lived.
Back Bay Work

1915 193 Marlborough (Remodeling) [Lois L. Howe and Manning]
1917 63 Marlborough (Remodeling) [Lois L. Howe and Manning]
1928 3 Exeter (Remodeling) [Howe, Manning, and Almy]