(b Santiago, Chile, Oct 17, 1868; d Winthrop, MA, Feb 3, 1953).
American architect. Hayden was the first woman to graduate with a four-year degree in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA. Her most notable design was her first and last project: the Woman’s Building at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. A controversial structure (as many women objected to having their work placed in a separate location), the building brought Hayden, a reserved young woman, sudden, albeit brief, national fame.
Raised in Jamaica Plains, MA, Hayden was admitted to MIT in 1886 and graduated with honors in 1890. She taught mechanical drawing at the Eliot School in Jamaica Plains and in 1891 entered the national competition for the Woman’s Building. Hayden’s design—a grand two-story Italian Renaissance-style structure with center and end pavilions, multiple arches, columned terraces, and other classical features—was based on her MIT thesis and reflected her Beaux-Arts training. After she won the coveted first prize, some doubted she had executed the work herself (plagiarism was an accusation faced by many women artists in that era). In response, ...