Women's Development Corporation Records

Women's Development Corporation Records, 1979-2015 Ms.2016.012


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Michelle Noceto, Samantha Winn

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.2016.012
Title
Women's Development Corporation Records1979-2015
URL:
http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=vt/viblbv01839.xml
Quantity
8.5 Cubic Feet, Three records boxes, three small flat boxes, one large flat box, one roll of drawings, one large flat folder of drawings, 16 foam board presentation panels.
Creator
Women's Development Corporation (R.I.)
Language
English .
Abstract
The Women's Development Corporation (WDC) is a Rhode Island based housing developer and non-profit founded by a group of architects, designers, community planners, and historic preservation professionals. These records document select activities of the WDC from 1979-2015.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Women's Development Corporation Records must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Women's Development Corporation Records, Ms2016-012, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Women's Development Corporation Records were donated to Special Collections in 2016.


Historical Note

The Women's Development Corporation (WDC) is a non-profit housing developer in Rhode Island. The WDC was founded in 1979 by a group of architects, designers, community planners, and historic preservation professionals. The founders included Susan Aitcheson (Program Director, Vice President from 1979-2012, and President from 2012-2016), Katrin Adam, and Joan Forrester Sprague. Alma Felix Green was the first Executive Director in 1980 and retired as President in 2014. The WDC designs, develops, constructs, and manages sustainable housing for low and moderate income families, individuals with special needs, and elderly residents. Between 1979 and 2016, the WDC had developed over 1600 housing units.

Additional sources: http://www.wdchoc.org/about-wdc http://www.wdchoc.org/FAQ

Content Description

These records document select activities of the Women's Development Corporation (WDC) of Rhode Island from 1979-2015. Materials include professional correspondence from WDC staff to peers, funding agencies, politicians, and clients; commendations received by the WDC; research notes and reports; administrative records, including meeting minutes and bylaws; public relations materials; press coverage by and about the WDC; project documentation, including design sketches, presentation drawings, photographs, and planning materials; audio-visual recordings; electronic records on DVD; and furniture models used in the participatory design planning process.

Arrangement

This collection was arranged with respect to the original order and the Shephered/Lowell Standard Series and Subseries for Architeture and Landscape Design. The collection reflects the following series and subseries:

Series I: Photographs Series II: Professional Papers Subseries A: Correspondence related to the profession Subseries B: Awards, certificates Subseries C: Research Notes and Data Collection Subseries D: Files, articles, clipping, materials Subseries E: Women's School of Planning and Architecture Series III: OFfice Records Subseries A: Administrative articles, bylaws, meetings Subseries B: Housing Planning Group Meetings, 1980 Subseries C: Public Relations Activity Subseries D: Published Materials Subseries E: Exercises and analysis Series IV: Project Records Series V: Participatory Design Workshop, 1990 Series VI: Aduiovisual and Electronic Media Series VII: Exhibits and Artifacts

Separated Material

Separated materials consist of books relevant to the firm's ideals preceding the work, with subjects covering aspects such as participatory design, guides to low-income housing design, housing for Low-Income single women, different types of households, and cohousing.

Titles: New Households, New Housing , Karen A. Franck, Sherry Ahrentzen Singular Women: Housing for Low-Income Single Women Without Dependents. Ann Forsyth Participatory Design. Theory and Techniques. Henry Sanoff. A Practical Guide to Low-and Moderate-Income Housing. Charles Edison and Bruce Lane


Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • History of Women in Architecture
  • International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA)
  • Women architects -- Rhode Island

Container List

SERIES I: Photographs
English.
Scope and Contents

Contains photographs of Susan Aitcheson's retirement, 2015.

  • box-folder 1 folder: 1
    Susan Aitcheson retires
    2015
SERIES II: Professional Papers
Scope and Contents

The Professional Papers series consists of material relating WDC's great effort to gather funding and support from several organizations and institutions to fund and subsidize housing for low income women and families. This is supported by correspondence, research notes, reference files related to both the profession and the role of women in architecture. Particular attention was given to the WSPA - Women's School of Planning and Architecture, with related correspondence, publicity, awards.

  • SUBSERIES A: Correspondence related to the profession
    • box-folder 1 folder: 2
      Proposal 1979 + Accompanying Correspondence
    • box-folder 1 folder: 3
      EDA - Economic Development Administration
      January 1979
    • box-folder 1 folder: 4
      Becky Peterson (1979) to S. Aitcheson, J. Sprague, M. Kennedy
    • box-folder 1 folder: 5
      Congressman Fernand Germaine
      January 1979 - April 1984
    • box-folder 1 folder: 6
      Secretary Simons
      July 1980
    • box-folder 1 folder: 7
      H.U.D. Regional
      August-September 1980
    • box-folder 1 folder: 8
      Congresswoman Claudine Schneider
      November 1980 - August 1981
    • box-folder 1 folder: 9
      Senator John Chafee
      July 1981 - January 1982
    • box-folder 1 folder: 10
      Ralph Pari
      June 1983
    • box-folder 1 folder: 11
      Elizabeth Earls - Community Mental Health Centers
      September 1993
    • box-folder 1 folder: 12
      Deborah Pond - Women's Housing & Economic Development Corporation
      December 1998
    • box-folder 1 folder: 13
      Don Roberts
      April 1999
    • box-folder 1 folder: 14-22
      Myrna Breitbart
    • box-folder 1 folder: 23
      Jennifer Bramley
      August 2004
    • box-folder 1 folder: 24
      Correspondence Andrea Merrett
      March - April 2012
  • SUBSERIES B: Awards, certificates
    • box-folder 1 folder: 25
      Susan Aitcheson's License
    • box-folder 1 folder: 26-29
      APA Awards & Proposal
      1980
  • SUBSERIES C: Research Notes and Data Collection
    • box-folder 1 folder: 30
      Breitbart Questionnaire & Answers
    • box-folder 1 folder: 31
      Breitbart - Some Research Notes
    • box-folder 1 folder: 32
      Information Emily Card - HUD
    • box-folder 1 folder: 33
      Berlin Conference
      1981-06-24
    • box-folder 1 folder: 34-35
      Housing Group Design Exercises and Questionnaires
    • box-folder 1 folder: 36
      Tenant Selection
    • box-folder 1 folder: 37
      Outline of Development process
      1981
  • SUBSERIES D: Files, articles, clipping, materials
    • box-folder 1 carton: 38
      Article "Women's school ends successful summer"
      1975-10
    • box-folder 1 folder: 39
      Spokeswoman - Magazine Volume 10, Number 5
      1980-05
    • box-folder 1 folder: 40
      "Women Consumers, Women Professionals
      1980
    • box-folder 1 folder: 41
      "Making it ourselves"
    • box-folder 1 folder: 42
      "Designing for the Messiness of Life"
      1981-02
    • box-folder 1 folder: 43
      "Sisterhood is braced for the Reaganauts"
      1981-05
    • box-folder 1 folder: 44
      "What an architect does - and doesn't do"
      1986-08
    • box-folder 1 folder: 45
      Journal of Housing & Community Development
    • box-folder 1 folder: 46
      Progressive Architecture - Women in Architecture: Leveling the Playing Field
      1995-11
    • box-folder 1 folder: 47
      Sophia Smith Collection - Printed Webpage Search
      2010
    • box-folder 1 folder: 48
      "Cohousing" book with note
    • box-folder 1 folder: 58
      Impacts Press
  • SUBSERIES E: Women's School of Planning and Architecture
    • box-folder 1 folder: 49
      WSPA News Report
      1975-1976
    • box-folder 1 folder: 50
      Correspondence: Linda Moody
      1980-06
    • box-folder 1 folder: 51
      Correspondence: Carol Randles
      1980-07
    • box-folder 1 folder: 52
      Reference Files: WSPA
      1980
    • box-folder 1 folder: 53-54
      WSPA
      1980
    • box-folder 1 folder: 56
      Reference Files: Conference National Symposium Women
      1981
    • box-folder 1 folder: 57
      WSPA Clipping: Kathleen McDonald's Information
SERIES III: Office Records
  • SUBSERIES A: Administrative articles, bylaws, meetings
    • box-folder 2 folder: 1
      First Meeting in RI to Discuss Concepts
      1978-11
    • box-folder 2 folder: 2
      CSA Recommendation
      1979-02
    • box-folder 2 folder: 3-17
      Documents
      1979
    • box-folder 2 folder: 18
      WDC Economic Development: An Affirmative Action Community Outreach Program
      1979-04
    • box-folder 2 folder: 19
      A Synopsis of Villa Excelsior
    • box-folder 2 folder: 20
      WDC Program & Description
      1980-06
    • box-folder 2 folder: 21
      Final Report to TAP
    • box-folder 2 folder: 22
      Proposed Mawney Street Cooperative
    • box-folder 2 folder: 23
      Housing with Economic Development Description
    • box-folder 2 folder: 24
      Vol II - Section V - Implementation Feasibility
  • SUBSERIES B: Housing Planning Group Meetings
    1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 25
      Housing Planning Meetings - Notes
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 26
      Housing Planning Meetings - March Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 27-28
      Housing Planning Meetings - April Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 29
      Housing Planning Meetings - May Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 30-38
      Housing Planning Meetings - Boston trip
    • box-folder 2 folder: 39-41
      Housing Planning Meetings - June Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 42
      Housing Planning Meetings - July Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 43
      Housing Planning Meetings - August Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 44
      Housing Planning Meetings - September Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 45-46
      Housing Planning Meetings - October Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 47-50
      Housing Planning Meetings - November Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 51
      Housing Planning Meetings - December Meetings
      1980
    • box-folder 2 folder: 52
      Summary of Housing Meetings
    • box-folder 2 folder: 53
      Transitional Housing Planning Group
    • box-folder 2 folder: 54
      Original Housing Planning Attendance
    • box-folder 2 folder: 55
      Spanish Meeting Announcement Original
    • box-folder 2 folder: 56
      Housing Planning Meetings - January Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 57
      Housing Planning Meetings - February Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 58
      Housing Planning Meetings - March Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 59
      Housing Planning Meetings - April Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 60
      Housing Planning Meetings - May Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 61
      Housing Planning Meetings - June Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 62
      Housing Planning Meetings - August Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 63
      Housing Planning Meetings - October Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 64
      Housing Planning Meetings - November Meetings
      1981
    • box-folder 2 folder: 65
      Boards of Directors - March
      1982-03
    • box-folder 2 folder: 66
      Housing Planning Meetings - July Meetings
      1982
    • box-folder 2 folder: 67
      Housing Planning Meetings - August Meetings
      1982
    • box-folder 2 folder: 68
      Text from visit to Boston with Housing Groups
    • box-folder 2 folder: 69
      Housing Planning Meetings - Attendance
    • box-folder 2 folder: 70
      House Planning Meetings - September 1982
  • SUBSERIES C: Public Relations Activity
    • box-folder 3 folder: 1
      Ads & Info Forms
    • box-folder 3 folder: 2-3
      General Notebook: Flyers
    • box-folder 3 folder: 4
      General Notebook: Flyers - Documentation related to flyers
    • box-folder 3 folder: 5
      General Notebook: Outreach - October to December 1979
    • box-folder 3 folder: 6
      General Notebook: Outreach for intro MTG - November 28, 1979 - PaceSponsor
    • box-folder 3 folder: 7
      General Notebook: Outreach for intro MTG -December 11th, 1980
    • box-folder 3 folder: 8
      General Notebook: Outreach January 1980 Presentation
    • box-folder 3 folder: 9
      General Notebook: Outreach May 1980
    • box-folder 3 folder: 10
      General Notebook: Business Interests
    • box-folder 3 folder: 11
      General Notebook: Introduction Meetings
    • box-folder 3 folder: 12
      General Notebook: Sample Forms
    • box-folder 3 folder: 13
      General Notebook: Building Maintenance
    • box-folder 3 folder: 14
      General Notebook: Workshops sponsored by W.D.C.
    • box-folder 3 folder: 15
      General Notebook: Senior Craft
  • SUBSERIES D: Published Materials
    • box-folder 3 folder: 30
      "American University National Symposium"
      1981-05
    • box-folder 3 folder: 31
      Magazine "Canadian Woman Studies Les Cahiers de la Femme"
      1990
    • box-folder 3 folder: 32
      "Affordable - Housing Program launched"
      1991-03
    • box-folder 3 folder: 33
      "A conversation with Alma Green"
      1995-04
    • box-folder 3 folder: 34
      "Planning New Living Spaces for the Nontraditional Family"
      1984-09
    • box-folder 3 folder: 35
      "City Group offers hope for families"
      1992-06
    • box-folder 3 folder: 36
      "Bringing Life to West End"
      1992-07
    • box-folder 3 folder: 37
      "Nonprofit Group well on its way to $3 million"
      1992-01
    • box-folder 3 folder: 38
      "Quality housing for Women and Children" - Breitbart
      1990
    • box-folder 3 folder: 39
      "Female Solutions to Housing Need"
      1990-11
    • box-folder 3 folder: 40
      "The Cork Examiner" articles
      1995-02
    • box-folder 3 folder: 41
      "A best practice toolkit for historic preservation"
    • box-folder 3 folder: 42
      "Hope resides in a historic house"
      1995-07
    • box-folder 3 folder: 43
      "The new Master Builders"
      1998-07
    • box-folder 3 folder: 44
      "More than Housing" - Joan Sprague
    • box-folder 3 folder: 45
      "Establishing Grounds" - Myrna Breitbart
      1995
    • box-folder 3 folder: 46
      Magazine "Architecture" - article photocopy
      1998-07
    • box-folder 3 folder: 47
      Magazine "Architecture"
      1998-07
    • box-folder 3 folder: 48
      WDC History & Articles stapled
    • box-folder 3 folder: 49
      "Aging in Place"
    • box-folder 3 folder: 50
      "More than Shelter. A Manual on Transitional Housing"
    • box-folder 3 folder: 51
      "List of WDC Publications"
  • SUBSERIES E: Exercises and analysis
    • box-folder 3 folder: 52
      Design exercises
    • box-folder 3 folder: 53
      Site selection
    • box-folder 3 folder: 54
      Spanish Neighborhood Analysis
    • box-folder 3 folder: 55
      Neighborhood Analysis
SERIES IV : Project Records
  • box-folder 3 folder: 56
    List of Properties owned by WDC
  • box-folder 3 folder: 57
    Projects In Progress and Completed
    1998
  • box-folder 3 folder: 58
    Developments & Properties
    1999-02
  • box-folder 3 folder: 59
    Projects in progress & Projects Completed
    1999
  • box-folder 3 folder: 60
    WDC properties
    2003-06
  • box-folder 3 folder: 61
    Sketched Floorplans
  • box 3
    Drawings and Plans
  • box 4
    Rolled drawings and sketches
  • box-folder 8 folder: 1
    Fifteenth Anniversary Portfolio Records
    1994
  • box-folder 8 folder: 2
    Project Portfolio: Planning, Designing and Building Homes for Families and Communities
    1980-1997
    Scope and Contents

    Scrapbook portfolio documenting selected housing projects and properties developed by WDC between 1980-1997. Entitled "Planning, Designing and Building Homes for Families and Communities," the portfolio explores the WDC's Participatory Planning Design exercises and prototype development from 1980-1982. Originally established for the WDC's fifteenth anniversary and expanded over time to document new projects.

SERIES V: Participatory Design Workshop
1980
Scope and Contents

This series comprises conceptual sketches, fabric and paint swatches, and planning activities from the WDC's original 1980 participatory design workshop with low-income women. The series also includes prototype floorplans produced by Susan Aitcheson after the workshop.

  • oversize folder: 1
    Participatory Design Activities
  • box-folder 3 folder: 62oversize folder: 2
    Prototype Drawings
  • oversize folder: 3
    Fabric and paint swatch selections
SERIES VI: Audiovisual and Electronic Media
  • box-folder 5 folder: 1
    Women's Development Corporation, Fall 1998 - Tapes 1,2,3
    Scope and Contents

    Footage shot for Dream Builders on Home & Garden Television. Betacam SP tape.

  • box-folder 5 folder: 2
    Women's Development Corporation, Fall 1998 - Tapes 4,5
    Scope and Contents

    Footage shot for Dream Builders on Home & Garden Television. Betacam SP tape.

  • box-folder 5 folder: 3
    Audiocassette, "Tent City", 2 sides
  • box-folder 5 folder: 4
    Audiocassette, Side 1: "Vivia Victoria, 1st Nov 15, 1980" / Side 2: "Ann Kerry @ Villa Vicotira, Nov 15, 1980"
  • box-folder 5 folder: 5
    Audiocassette, Side 1: "Alma's interview, rodie, 8/2/8/81" / Side 2: "Christmas Party - Children Singing, 12/19/83"
  • box-folder 6 folder: 1
    Dream Builders - Women's Development Corp
    Scope and Contents

    VHS tape

  • box-folder 6 folder: 2
    Susan Aitcheson Interview, 4-16-13
    Scope and Contents

    DVD-R, interview conducted by Andrea Merrett, Columbia University Archives

  • box-folder 6 folder: 3
    Home & Garden Network, WDC NAHB
    Scope and Contents

    DVD-R

  • box-folder 6 folder: 4
    Women's Development Corporation
    Scope and Contents

    DVD, Running Time 8 min 40 sec

  • box-folder 6 folder: 5
    WDC Archive: Photos, Posterboards, Powerpoint, 9.20.15
    Scope and Contents

    DVD+RW

  • box-folder 6 folder: 6
    WDC Archive
    Scope and Contents

    DVD+RW

SERIES VII: Exhibits and Artifacts
  • box 7
    Furniture models
    Scope and Contents

    Balsa wood and dyed cardboard furniture pieces used for participatory design activities.

  • oversize folder: 1-12oversize folder: 13-16
    Visual History and Timeline of WDC/HOC
    2015
    Scope and Contents

    16 foamboard panels documenting the history of the Women's Development Corporation and its partner non-profit, the Housing Opportunities Corporation. The panels include newspaper clippings of opposition to WDC housing in its early years, a project breakdown by deecade, organizaitonal charts, lists of staff, and photographs of major projects and milestone events.