Norma Sklarek
National Visionary

Born April 15, 1928 in New York City


Norma Merrick Sklarek was the first African American woman registered as an architect in the U.S. To do so, she overcame the double hurdle of being both African American and female in a predominately white male profession. She was also the second female architect in California, and the first African American in almost 100 years to be honored by the American Institute of Architects with fellowship for outstanding architectural contribution.

Earning her architecture degree from Columbia University, Sklarek worked initially in New York before relocating to Los Angeles. Working primarily on major building complexes such as enclosed-mall shopping centers, high-rise office buildings, hotels, hospitals and apartment buildings, projects which require knowledge of high-tech state-of-the art engineering, construction and electronic systems. Her projects are located not only in semi-tropical areas of the United States, but also in high-seismic-probability California and Japan. Noted projects include the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo; Los Angeles’ Pacific Design Center and the Airport Terminal; Columbus, Indiana’s Courthouse Center; San Francisco’s Fox Plaza; and San Bernadino, California’s City Hall.

In addition to her architectural work, Sklarek is married to Cornelius Welch and has three children. She taught part-time for six years in UCLA’s graduate architecture program, and lectured at several universities throughout the country. She served as commissioner to the California Board of Architectural Examiners and as Master Juror for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), grading the architectural design and site planning exams.


• Norma Sklarek's Wikipedia Page

URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/sklareknorma