Alberta Pfeiffer was the first woman to win the AIA School Medal (now called the AIA Henry Adams Medal), awarded for excellence achieved by a graduating student at an AIA-recognized institution.
Education and Early Career in Architecture
Pfeiffer graduated from the University of Illinois School of Architecture in 1923, winning the AIA School Medal and earning a master’s degree two years later. She began working in Chicago for Tallmadge and Watson before moving to New York and joining residential designer Harrie T. Lindeberg from 1925 to 1931.
In 1933, Pfeiffer opened a firm with her husband, Homer. Together they had more than two hundred and fifty commissions. After World War II, Pfeiffer established her own firm.
Between 1950 and 1977, when she retired and closed her office, Pfeiffer completed over one hundred residential designs and numerous commericial designs. Most of her work was located in Connecticut, but she designed homes in Arizona, Illinois, and Wisconsin as well. She was also heavily involved in community organizations, including the boards and education and zoning in Hadlyme, Connecticut.