King, Susan F.

Susan F. King

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  • University of Cincinnati, 1987, Bachelor of Architecture

Years of practice



  • Harley Ellis Devereaux, Principal
  • Environ, Inc., Associate
  • Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, Staff Architect
  • Perkins + Will, Intern

Professional organizations

  • Licensed in 1991
  • Joined AIA in 1999
  • Became AIA fellow in 2012

Related websites


Illinois, commercial, environmental, green, industrial, residential, sustainable design


Career in Architecture

Susan F. King, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C is a principal with Harley Ellis Devereaux, a national firm with a century long history and a diverse portfolio. Susan has expanded the firm’s focus on the creation of special needs housing environments by incorporating environmentally friendly high performance design strategies. She is the firm’s National Sustainable Design Leader, developing and implementing nationwide design policies in regards to sustainability.

Susan’s expertise in the areas of environmentally friendly design, social housing, and the history of women in architecture is nationally recognized, as demonstrated by her many presentations and publications. She has spoken regularly at the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) National GreenBuild Conferences and at the regional Greening the Heartland Conferences. Locally Susan has been invited to speak at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and local universities including the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Social Housing:

Her design leadership of multi-disciplinary teams has contributed to several firsts at the city and state levels in terms of green certifications through the United States Green Building Council LEED Rating systems. This is best exemplified by Wentworth Commons, an affordable housing facility on Chicago’s south side. Wentworth was the first multi-unit residential building in the Midwest to receive LEED Certification. Through this success, Wentworth Commons served to discredit the myth that sustainability costs more and cannot be attained on the tight construction budgets synonymous with affordable housing in this country. Published numerous times and the winner of a National AIA Show Your Green Award, Wentworth Commons’ ongoing influence is evidenced by its inclusion in the Design Advisor’s Gallery of High Quality Affordable Housing,

Environmental Equity:

Susan’s work with sustainable design in affordable high density housing for underserved populations marked a pioneering milestone in Mayor Daley’s agenda to make Chicago the “Greenest city in the world.” This is demonstrated through the receipt of two of the biannual Chicago Green Works Awards for “Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment” (Wentworth Commons in 2006 and Sankofa House in 2010). Her environmental leadership was recognized by an invitation to serve on the City’s working group to develop the City’s Green Residential program, a precursor to the LEED for Homes rating system. An advocate for both attainable housing and green market transformation of the building industry, Susan served as Chair of the AIA Chicago Committee on the Environment (CotE). Under her leadership, she renewed the CotE’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chicago’s Department of Environment (DoE), and was a key collaborator in the mounting the Chicago Green Exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. This educational exhibit was a
companion to the visiting Big and Green Exhibition, both strategically scheduled to open during and capture the National AIA Convention audience in 2004.


As the third woman Principal of a 103 year old firm, Susan exemplifies diversity in the field of architecture. As President of Chicago Women in Architecture during the organization’s twenty-fifth year, her notable accomplishments included founding a successful and on-going lecture series, doubling the organization’s membership, mounting an historic show at the Art Institute of Chicago and publishing a catalogue of the twenty-fifth year events highlighting the accomplishments of women architects in Chicago. This catalogue is now considered an historic resource. Susan is a sought after mentor to young women architects both within and outside of her firm. Having researched and documented the history of women in architecture, Susan is uniquely positioned to advise young female professionals to anticipate and avoid career pitfalls. The articles she has written and the events she has organized illustrate her interest in the history of the shared experiences that are handed down from one generation of architects to the next. Ever an advocate for women in architecture, she recognizes, celebrates and shares the past contributions that have led to greater opportunities for women in the profession.

Major Buildings and Projects

Wentworth Commons, Social Housing, 51 apartments, 111th & Wentworth Avenue, Chicago Illinois

Sankofa House, Intergenerational Housing, 58 apartments, 4041 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois


Social Housing:

2009 AIA Detroit, Honor Award, Wentworth Commons
2008 Fannie Mae: Maxwell Award of Excellence, Honorable Mention, Wentworth Commons
2008 Home Depot Award for Affordable Housing Built Responsibly: Honorable Mention
2007 Richard H. Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Wentworth Commons
2006 Community Vision Award, Metropolitan Planning Council. Urban Land Institute and the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago, Wentworth Commons
2006 Richard H. Driehaus Finalist, Trumbull and Spaulding Apartments
2006 AIA Illinois Honor Award Program – Frank Lloyd Wright Category – Citation of Merit, Wentworth Commons
2001 Best of Senior Housing –Silver Award, Bernardin Manor, Calumet City, IL Presented by the National Council on Senior Housing/National Association of Home Builders, included in traveling exhibition.
2001 Richard H. Driehaus Finalist, Holland Apartments
1993 Chicago Tribune Public Housing Competition, Honorable Mention; exhibited.

Environmental Equity:

2010 Best Green Architect, Redaer’s Choice Award, Mindful Metropolis Magazine.
2010 Mayor Daley’s GreenWorks Award – Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment, Sankofa House
2009 The European Centre for Architecture Art, Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Green GOOD DESIGN
2008 I4design – Suite Sixteen: Selected as one of 16 designers “to watch” in the Midwest in i4 design’s second annual . Profile article entitled “Sustainable Magician”, by Lisa Skolnik. (Spring Issue 2008)
2008 Excellence in Masonry, Gold Award, Illinois Indiana Masonry Council, Wentworth Commons
2007 AIA Chicago, Citation of Merit, Sustainable Design, Wentworth Commons
2007 Honor Award, Engineering Excellence, American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois, City of Chicago, Household Chemicals and Electronics Recycling Collection Center
2006 Mayor Daley’s 2006 GreenWorks Award – Building Green Category, Wentworth Commons
2006 National AIA: “ Show Your Green” Award Citation, Wentworth Commons
1988 Artists, Architects and Architectural Terra Cotta, juried group show of proposals for a “Gateway to Chicago” surfaced in architectural terra cotta; exhibited.


1999 Westell Facilities, Aurora, IL: Included in Women in Chicago Architecture Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, November 20,1998 – March 14, 1999, a showcase of local women’s work celebrating Chicago Women in Architecture’s Silver Anniversary.
1999 Westell Facilities, Aurora, IL: Metal Construction Association, President’s Award.


by Susan F. King

Are We There Yet?
NEXT (a Harley Ellis Devereaux Publication)
Analysis and Excerpts by Susan F. King, Spring 2010

Soaking up the Storm
Environmental Design + Construction online publication
Co-Authored with Mark Hieber, September 2009

Masonry Cavity Wall Yields Warmth through Color and High Insulation
Value at Wentworth Commons
Masonry Edge Magazine (Vol. 2, No. 2)
September 2007

A Little Sunshine on Chicago’s South Side
Environmental Design + Construction Magazine
September/October, 2006

Only Girl Architect, Lonely
Chicago Architecture: Histories, Revisions, Alternatives, University of Chicago Press
Chapter by Susan F. King, 2005

The Importance of Being Irwin (Harriet Morrison Irwin) and Ellen
Rockwell Galland
Articles for the Ladies of the Corridor/Ladies on the Threshold series in The Muse,
bi-monthly publication of Chicago Women in Architecture
January/February 1997

The Gray Lines of Eileen and Deborah Doyle
Articles for the Ladies of the Corridor/Ladies on the Threshold series in The Muse,
bi-monthly publication of Chicago Women in Architecture
November/December 1995

Reflections of a Glass House: Garfield Park and its Conservatory
The Inland Architect, January/February 1995