Sophia Hayden

General Information

Occupation: Architect

Date of Birth: October 17, 1868

Date of Death: February 03, 1953

Birth City: Santiago

Birth Country: Chile

Resident City: Winthrop

Resident State/Province: Massachusetts

Resident Country: United States

Notes: Hayden moved to Boston when she was six to live with her paternal grandparents. Sophia Hayden was the first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Sources: Bibliography from the Encyclopedia Britannica. Additional information found at


No specialties on record


Employer: Mechanical drawing instructor

City: Boston

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

Notes: Hayden could not find any architectural work when she graduated so she took a job teaching mechanical drawing.


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No exhibitions on record

Notable Projects

Title: Women's Building for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago

Description: Hayden's design in the style of the Italian Renaissance won the competition for the Women's Building.

City: Chicago

Notes: Hayden was paid 3 to 10 times less than her male counterparts in the Exposition. She was awarded the Gold Medal from the Board of Lady Managers, though the design was criticized for its "daintiness and grace". When Hayden was absent from the building's dedication ceremony, it was supposed that she had a nervous breakdown, confirming that women were not suitable for the architectural profession.


Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department: Architecture

Notes: Hayden was the first woman admitted to the architecture program at MIT. Hayden graduated from MIT with honors.


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Professional Affiliations

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Publications By

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Publications About

Title: Women in Architecture: A Historic & Contemporary Perspective

Author: Susana Torre

Publisher: Whitney Library of Design

City: New York City