Early life and Education
Marion Isadore Manley was born in Junction City, KS in 1893 to parents Charles Haines Manley and Marion Isadore Jones Manley. Manley’s mother was a schoolteacher before having nine children, of which Manley was the youngest. Manley’s father was a teacher and banker, actively involving his family in the Universalist church. Manley’s maternal aunt, Amanda Jones, had patented oil burners and was an inspiration for Manley as a modern woman.
Manley attended the University of Kansas for three years before transferring to the University of Illinois’s School of Engineering. While attending the University of Illinois to complete her degree in architecture, Manley was the only woman among 11 architecture and engineering students. Manley passed away in 1984 at the age of 90.
Career in Architecture
Manley is often called the first woman architect of Miami. Her style followed the Mediterranean Revival, most noted in her modernist master planning and architecture for the University of Miami. She also explored tropical vernacular in the era following World War II.
Major Buildings and Projects
- Scott House, Miami, FL
- University of Miami, FL
- Ring Theater (1951)
- Memorial Classroom Bldg. (1948-49)
- Conservation and Angling Building
- Baptist Student Center
- UMiami Student Club
- Veterans Housing and Apartment Building
Press and Awards
- Fourth woman Fellow of the AIA (1956)
- Her “memorial classroom” at the University of Miami was featured on the cover of Architectural Forum in July 1948.
- Gold Medal from the Florida Architectural Association (1973)
- O.E. Dooly Medal, Lowe Gallery, University of Miami (1952)
Lynn, Catherine, and Carie Penabad. Marion Manley: Miami’s First Woman Architect. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2010.
- The University of Miami
- Fellow of the AIA
- Florida South AIA Chapter President (1940-42), Secretary (1939-1940)
- Florida Association of Architects Vice President (1947-49)
- Member, Dade County Coordinating and Planning Comission (1944-46)
- President, Coconut Grove Civic Association (1953)
Manley participated in the Mediterranean Revival and did modernist master planning and architecture for the University of Miami. She also explored tropical vernacular in the era following World War II.