Preserving Women’s Stories

Our Sight Lines series highlights how different perspectives and practices come together to deliver value for specific clients and communities, through the lens of Quinn Evans projects and locations.

At Quinn Evans, we are strong believers that our work is richer and better because of the diversity of perspectives we offer. Every Quinn Evans project is met with a desire to deeply understand the significance of place and a strong commitment to listening. Our approach is designed to create value for our clients as we transform or preserve special places across the country.

As a woman-led company, we place a special emphasis on the projects that we’ve worked on that engage communities and clients to lift the stories of women and their histories. These projects create space for not only history, but seeing the world through female perspectives and building the future of women’s leadership.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of these projects below.

Hyacinth's Way

Hyacinth’s Way is a planned residential property in Southeast Washington, DC, with studio and one-bedroom apartments, community amenities, and support services for formerly homeless senior citizens. Set just north of the St. Elizabeth's East campus, the four story-building will offer 71 units, a clinic, office space, and a below-grade parking garage.

“This is a project that aims to provide affordable housing to formerly homeless women with a mental health diagnosis,” says Jay Ranaweera, AIA, a Designer and Project Architect at Quinn Evans.

“Project goals also include creating a resilient and self-sustaining building that produces as much energy as it uses. The design process for this project has required close collaboration between the client organization, engineering teams, and the architectural team to create a building that improves both the community it serves and the environment it inhabits.”

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument

“Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is such an amazing resource in Washington, DC and it affords the opportunity to tell the compelling story of women’s suffrage in such a tangible, tactile way,” says Tom Jester, FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP, Principal and COO of Quinn Evans.

Quinn Evans’ work on the Belmont-Paul House helps preserve both the building and the stories of women’s suffrage that it illustrates for future generations.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement Monument  in Washington, DC: 1848-1973

Quinn Evans is currently completing a historic context study that recognizes Washington, DC, as the center stage and launching point for women’s suffrage and voting rights movements. The historic context study will help identify sites throughout the city to tell the complete story of the campaign for women’s suffrage and voting rights, including the story of underrepresented female activists.  

For Nakita Reed, AIA, CPHC, LEED AP BD+C, NOMA, the Quinn Evans historical architect who is leading the inventory and assessment of buildings and sites, the most thrilling part of the project is two-fold: expanding the narrative to tell the story for Black women and other women of color, and pushing the common conceptions of what residents might see as an important site.

“And it’s not just in the big buildings that are the monuments that have been memorialized for decades—there’s really a lot more grassroots things that happen in smaller buildings,” Reed says.

Tom Jester notes the skill of Quinn Evans historians to “do the deep research and synthesize the material into a compelling and rich narrative” will broaden the company’s understanding of the complex story of women’s suffrage and its national context.

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