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Rice, Lilian, 1889-1938



  • Existence: 1889 - 1938

Biographical Note

Lilian Rice (1889-1938) was born in National City, California in 1889. She attended the University of California at Berkley for architecture and in 1910 became one of the first females to graduate from the program. Rice’s greatest professional achievement came from her work as resident architect in the design of the upscale southern California community, Rancho Santa Fe.

Recognized for her work with Spanish colonial architecture, Rice advocated utilizing natural and local materials to blend surrounding landscapes into her designs. This practice was particularly evident in her work on the Rancho Santa Fe community.

In addition to her work on the Rancho Santa Fe community, Rice designed San Dieguito Union High School in Encitas, California later serving as an original trustee for the Rancho Santa Fe school district.

Lilian Rice died suddenly on Dec. 22, 1938 at the age of 49.

Cox, Lilian. (2009, October). Famous female architect finally gets a biography. The Coast News. Retrieved from

Eddy, L. L. (1985). Lilian Jeannette Rice: The lady as architect (A University of San Diego Thesis By Lucinda Eddy). University of San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Olive Chadeayne Architectural Collection

Identifier: Ms-1990-057

The Olive Chadeayne Architectural Collection includes drawings for residences, schools, churches and businesses primarily located in southern California. In addition to Olive Chadeayne's work, the collection also contains over twenty-five drawings by American architect Lillian Rice.

Dates: 1924 - 1956