Thursday | March 20, 2014 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm |1.5 LU

SmithGroupJJR | | Reception to follow, sponsored by


“DON’T CALL ME A WOMAN ARCHITECT” Chloethiel Woodard Smith, FAIA was considered the most influential Washington DC modern architect and urban planner of her time. Smith owned one of the largest architecture firms in the area. She believed the term ‘woman’ demeaned her accomplishments, Smith made it a point NOT to distinguish herself as a woman architect. This lecture will examine her works, career and the concept of ‘women’ in architecture.


1. Examine the firm of Chloethiel Woodard Smith & Associates

2. Explore the greatest concentration of her work, SW Washington

3. Discuss her influence and legacy in the Washington DC area

4. Discuss the relevance and irrelevance of the term “woman architect”



Francisca Villarroel Alonso |Co-Founder and CEO, AV Architects + Builders

Francisca V. Alonso, a magna cum laude graduate from The School of Architecture at The Catholic University, has more than 20 years of experience in architectural and interior design. She was born in Santiago (Chile), grew up in the Costa del Sol (Spain) and studied architecture in Washington DC.

Francisca and her husband/business partner Antonio Alonso launched AV Architects in 2001 with a passion for architecture and a vision to provide full architectural services to high-end homeowners in the Washington Metropolitan Area. A year later, she realized that many of the designs were being compromised by third party builders.

In 2002, they added a sister company AV Builders to deliver a seamless construction process and provide their high-end clients with a single point of accountability from concept to completion.

Her background, professional training and dedication for her craft has led her to establish a unique design-build approach that is beautifully exhibited in many homes all over the Great Falls and McLean area and maximizes the client’s investment budget.


AW Head Shot 2014

Amy Weinstein, FAIA |Principal, Esocoff & Associates/Weintein Studio

Amy is a practicing architect currently designing a 500,000 SF Mixed Use development at Eastern Market, and a Master Plan for a 6 acre L’Enfant Plan open space on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. She has been a visiting professor in the architecture schools of UVA, UMd, Catholic U, and University of Oklahoma; and has served on the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and as a GSA Design Excellence peer reviewer. She holds a M.Arch from the University of Pennsylvania, and is the mother of a recent M.Arch graduate of Columbia University.

Carolyn Crouch

Carolyn is the founder of Washington Walks. When not traversing the city’s streets on foot, she can be found riding her favorite form of public transportation: the red Circulator bus. She is the author of Frommer’s 24 Great Walks in Washington, D.C.Favorite spot in D.C. for a quiet meal and chat: Corduroy in the Shaw neighborhood.

Florance, Coke (WBJ color)

Colden Florance, FAIA, LEED AP

Colden Florance practiced architecture in Washington from the early 1960’s through the first decade of 2000. His work included leadership of multidisciplinary design and planning teams for institutional facilities, educational facilities, mixed use developments, government projects, commercial and corporate offices and residential projects.

His practice was devoted to developmental and planning issues critical to the city with a special interest in innovative historic preservation. Initially with the firm of Keyes, Lethbridge and Condon, he became managing partner of its successor firm, Keyes Condon Florance which later became SmithGroupJJR.

He was a founding member of the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and actively participated in a variety of commissions and boards such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Federal City Council, the Baltimore Architectural Review Committee, and the DC Preservation League. He also served on the boards of St. Albans School, Maret School and the Levine School of Music. In 2011 he was the Key Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland School of Architecture. As president of the Washington Chapter of the AIA in 1979, he participated with a variety of committees and task forces to promote a living downtown.

Colden Florance was honored by the Washington chapter of the AIA with the presentation of the Year 2000 Centennial Medal acknowledging “the lifetime contributions of an architect whose leadership has promoted good design, expanded the public role of the profession and positively influenced the community”. In 2009 the District of Columbia and the DC Preservation League recognized him with their Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

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Photo Credit: Ursula Johnson