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Quiet designs

August 17, 2003

As usual, Nicolai Ouroussoff seems to be focused only on the "black cape or starchitects" and does not recognize the importance of that large cadre of architects (female or male) who are quietly reshaping our cities and our lives with their work on less prominent projects ("New Perspective, New Aesthetic in a Room of Their Own," Aug. 10).

Here in Southern California we are fortunate to have a large pool of great talent that is changing the architectural face of government, education and healthcare projects. My partners, Andrea Cohen Gehring and Pam Touschner, are the creative design forces behind five new police facilities, six new school projects and three hospital campuses.

Others include Brenda Levin, with her work in education and historic preservation; Betsy Dougherty and Helena Jubany in their design of educational and community facilities; and Deborah Weintraub (Los Angeles City architect), with her leadership in sustainable architecture.

Our lives and the lives of generations to come will be richer because of the talent, dedication to quality and innovative design that these and other women architects bring to the profession.

Chester A. Widom

Santa Monica

Chester A. Widom is a principal with the architectural firm Widom Wein Cohen O'Leary Terasawa Architecture (WWCOT Architecture) and the former national president of the American Institute of Architects.

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It is astounding that a Los Angeles newspaper could publish a lengthy article on women in architecture without a mention of Kate Diamond. Her imprint on Los Angeles has included innovative facilities in schools, Metro stations and the air traffic control tower at LAX. Moreover, her vision for planning the urban evolution of Los Angeles has had a significant impact on thinking within a number of public agencies in Southern California.

Bob Niccum

Buena Park

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Before I relocated to Los Angeles four years ago, I was a 32-year resident of Miami. I was surprised that Mr. Ouroussoff did not mention the outstanding architectural achievements of Miami-based architect Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, alone and in partnership with Andres Duany. He might also have mentioned Laurinda Spear, whose contribution to Miami architecture is well-respected.

Henriette Moed Roth

Los Angeles

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