Bridgman, Lilian

Lilian Bridgman

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Dates of Birth and Death



  • Kansas State Agricultural College
  • University of California, Berkeley

Location of architect’s archive

The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley


California, Kansas


Early life and education

Lilian Bridgman (1866-1948) was an American architect and scientist. Bridgman was originally from Kansas, where she obtained her science degree in 1888 from Kansas State Agricultural College. She then went on to study science at the University of California, Berkeley where she earned a master’s degree in 1893.

Career in Architecture

After graduation, she taught physics and chemistry at several schools in California, including the California School of Mechanical Arts, between 1893 and 1912. She was also a writer, authoring short stories and poems which were published in popular journals.[1]

Major Buildings and Projects

In 1899 Bridgman designed her own home near Blackberry Canyon in Berkeley. While building the home, she received advice from architect and friend Bernard Maybeck. The house focused on natural light and a lack of symmetry. The home’s exterior features include barn shingles and clapboards. The interior featured local redwood paneling and built-in window seats that were able to be transformed into beds for visitors.[1]

After her first architectural experience, Bridgman went to the University of California to study architecture in 1912. Three years later she became a certified architect in California. After World War I, she received her first major commission, the Bioletti House, an Italianate villa overlooking the San Francisco Bay. The project also included furniture design for the home. The 1923 Berkeley Fire created new opportunities for work as well. Bridgman used the Hotel Whitecotton as a meeting place for clients. Bridgman also had clients in Kansas.[1]