Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)


Riggs, Lutah

ID: 752
Full Name: Lutah Maria Riggs
Occupation: Architect
Gender: F
Nationality: US
Birth Date: 10/31/1896
Death Date: 03/08/1984
Family: Spouse: Riggs never married;
Relocation: Riggs was born in Toledo, OH, and died in Montecito, CA, at the age of 87;
Biographical Information: Education: Certificate, San Barbara Junior College, Santa Barbara, CA, 1917; A.B., Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 1919; graduate architectural coursework, University of California, Berkeley, 1919-1920;
Work History: Draftswoman and Designer, Ralph D. Taylor, Architect, Susanville, CA, 3 months in 1920; Draftswoman, George Washington Smith, Architect, Santa Barbara, CA, 1921-1930; Partner, Horning and Riggs, Architects, Santa Barbara, CA, 1930-1931; Principal, Lutah Maria Riggs, Architect, Santa Barbara, CA, 1931-1942; Partner, Riggs and Shaw, Architects, Santa Barbara, CA, 1946-1950; Principal, Lutah Maria Riggs, Architect, Santa Barbara, CA, 1951-c.1980; in 1970, Riggs's office was located at 280 Middle Road, Santa Barbara, CA.
Miscellaneous: SSN: 545-26-8762; Riggs was hired on a temporary several-week basis c. 1920 by the Santa Barbara, CA, architect, George Washington Smith; according to landscape architecture historian, David Streatfield, Smith was hesitant to hire a woman, but her drafting work proved so good that he hired her permanently. She became somthing of a surrogate daughter for Smith and his wife. The Smiths became so fond of Riggs that they loaned her money and traveled with her. (Conversation with Prof. David Streatfield, University of Washington, Seattle, 01/19/2007.)
Professional Awards: College: First Prize, Santa Barbara Daily News, First Annual Competition Scholarship Prize, 1917-1918;
Post College: Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1960, cited for excellence in design and service to the profession; she was the first California woman to be named a Fellow. Riggs was named Los Angeles Times's Woman of the Year, 1967, the first architect to be so named;
Archives: Archival documents on Lutah Maria Riggs housed at the Architecture and Design Collection of the University Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
Countries: United States
Locations: Architect's Death:
Montecito, CA
Architect's Birth:
Toledo, OH