Mary Lou Drosten Architectural Collection
Scope and Content
The Mary Lou Drosten Architectural Collection documents Mary Lou Drosten’s personal and professional life as an architect. The collection contains Mary Lou Drosten’s personal papers, including biographic information such as newspaper articles documenting Mary Lou Drosten's contraction of polio and her remarkable recovery. Mary Lou Drosten collected newspaper articles, advertisements, and other material on social inequality. Drosten's primary interest was women's rights, but she also collected materials on racial discrimination. Mary Lou Droston's professional papers include associations and committees such as the Association of Women in Architecture, Huntsville League of Women Voters, and Congress on American Women Leaders. In addition, Drosten maintained project records, including research materials, financial records, contracts, photographs, and detailed drawings.
- Drosten, Mary Lou, 1910-1991 (Architect, Person)
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish material from Mary Lou Drosten Architectural Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Biographical / Historical
Mary Lou Drosten was born on July 5, 1910 in St. Louis, Missouri. Drosten attended Washington University in St. Louis from 1928-1933. There, she received a B.A. in Architecture. After graduation, Drosten became a caseworker. In 1937, Drosten married Fred Drosten. Mary Lou Drosten and Fred Drosten had four children. Throughout her life, Drosten lived in St. Louis, MO; Oak Ridge, TN; Nicaro, Cuba; Chattanooga, TN; Huntsville, AL; and retired in St. Louis, MO. In Chattanooga, TN, Mary Lou owned Drosten Design and worked on many projects. Some projects of note include a building design for a dental surgeon (1934), 7-room residence for the Drosten family in Chevy Chase (1937), and proposal for a new hospital for polio in Des Moines (1942). Despite Drosten suffering from polio, she continued to work in the architectural field. Drosten died on November 16, 1991.
9 Cubic Feet
Language of Materials
This collection is arranged in original order as detailed by the creator.
The following books were separated from the collection to be cataloged for the Rare Book Collection: Neutra, R. Survival Through Design, 1969. Wright, F.L. An American Architecture. Wright, F.L. The Natural House. The 1940 Book of Small Houses. House & Gardens New Complete Guide to Interior Decoration. Doctor's Offices.
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Mary Lou Drosten Architectural Collection was completed in March 2017.
- Kushner, Pinky (Donor, Person)
- Rivard, Betsy Drosten (Donor, Person)
- Language of description
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Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US