In Remembrance: Norma Merrick Sklarek

Norma Merrick Sklarek, FAIA, NCARB, the first African-American woman to become a registered architect, died at her home on Monday, 6 February 2012.

Sklarek became licensed in New York in 1954, and, in 1978, achieved NCARB certification. In 1980, she became the first African-American woman to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Sklarek served on the California Architects Board from 2004-2007. She also served on NCARB’s Broadly Experienced Architect Committee between 2004 and 2005 and chaired the AIA Ethics Council for several years.

Sklarek first worked for Skidmore Owings, Merrill in New York, before she moved to California where she spent the majority of her professional career. There, she completed many notable projects for Gruen Associates and Welton Becket, including the California Mart, the Pacific Design Center, San Bernardino City Hall, San Francisco’s Fox Plaza and, most notably, Terminal 1 of Los Angeles International Airport. Sklarek co-founded Siegel-Sklarek-Diamond, the largest woman-owned architectural firm in 1985, and retired from practice in 1991.

Learn more about Sklarek here.