Sarah P. Harkness

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Sarah (Sally) Pillsbury Harkness, FAIA (July 8, 1914 — May 22, 2013[1]) was an American architect.[2] She was a cofounder of The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was one of two women among seven young architects who formed the firm with Walter Gropius in 1945.[1] She was an inspirational figure for women in architecture throughout her long career; early on she valued the idea of accessible design and sustainable practices in architecture. She gave voice to these ideals in 1985 as President of the Boston Society of Architects.

Early life and education

Born Sarah Pillsbury in Swampscott, Massachusetts, but called Sally, she was the daughter of Samuel Hale Pillsbury, a lawyer, and the former Helen Farrington Watters. She graduated from the Winsor School and studied at the Cambridge School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, which was affiliated with Smith College. She also received a Master's certificate in Architecture. In 1941, she married John Cheesman "Chip" Harkness, one of the other co-founders of the Architects Collaborative, and they had seven children.

She attended the Smith College Graduate School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in 1940. She was a founder, in 1945, and Principal Emeritus of the Architects' Collaborative (TAC). She is the author of Sustainable Design for Two Maine Islands, The Architects Collaborative Encyclopedia of Architecture, and co-edited The Architects Collaborative Inc., 1945 to 1965 with Walter Gropius. Her papers are stored at the International Archive of Women in Architecture.

She lived in Lexington, Massachusetts, at Six Moon Hill, a community dwelling designed by TAC.[3] Harkness received a D.F.A. from Bates College in 1974.

Work, Recent Projects

Principal Designer of the Olin Arts Center and Ladd Library at Bates College in Lewiston, ME


1991 Award of Honor, The Boston Society of Architects[1]


"Still Standing" - Featured in this 2006 documentary about The Architects Collaborative.


  1. ^ a b c Globe Staff (July 6, 2013). "Sally Harkness, 98; cofounder of The Architects Collaborative was inspirational figure in profession". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on April 28, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "Obituary For: Sarah Pillsbury Harkness | Douglass Funeral Home". 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  3. ^ Crosbie, Michael J. (July 1995). "Sarah Pillsbury Harkness: Homemade Modernism" (PDF). Progressive Architecture. Vol. 76. p. 77. Retrieved April 27, 2017.

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