The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on October 16, 1977 · Page 60
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October 16, 1977

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 60

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 16, 1977
Page 60
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Page 60 article text (OCR)

/CAREERS DES MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER • OCTOBER 16,1977 /4E She's the only registered woman architect in Iowa By MARY BRYSON Horn* FurMiMnn Editor MOUNT PLEASANT, IA. - "I wanted a career that would be a challenge — and I found it," says the only woman architect registered in Iowa. "Sometimes, it seemed like too much of a challenge," explained Barbara Taylor Welander, a woman who admires contemporary architecture — while living in a century-old farmhouse just south of Mount Pleasant. "For example, it took almost 10 years out of my life before I really was ready to earn a living in the profession. By then, I was married and, when I took my Iowa State Board examination, our first child was on the way, which delayed work for awhile. Outside of my apprenticeship, I haven't been able yet to work full-time as an architect. "However, it's a great part-time career to combine with rearing a family and with living a full life as a wife and homemaker," she says. Barbara received her bachelor of architecture degree from Iowa State University in Ames. These days, she is almost bogged down with all her conflicting demands and interests. Priorities start with her veterinarian husband and two small sons, David, 5, and Matthew, 3. Then there's the big old house the Welanders are restoring. She goes from sanding furniture, to chipping plaster off of brick walls, to dashing out to the yard to close the gate before little Mark wanders off, to answering the phone (often a call from a farmer with an ailing cow). In between, she makes beds, cooks meals, serves on fund-raising and membership drives for such organizations as the Mount Pleasant Community Chest, the Henry County Cancer Association and the Girl Scout Shining Trail Council. She also is active in church work and has been township chairwoman of the Henry County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. This year, she is president of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary. Hours for career She fishes and picnics with her family at their cabin on the Skunk Photos by LARRY E. NEIBERGALL Welander home near Mount Pleasant has old-fashioned charm. River and is learning to pilot the plane, which she and her husband purchased last year. So, when does she find time to be an architect? "That's what's so great about it," she says. "I can take on a project, work a few days a week and do much of the work at home — often with the boys working at their own small desk in my drafting room. "I can turn down a project if things are hectic, but there always seems to be a demand for part-time architectural work. Last year, I worked three days a week for about five months, then didn't do anything for several months." This year, Barbara is working on a free-lance basis, completing drawings for the Fedral Land Bank Association and Production Credit Association building in Mount Pleasant. She also is the inspecting architect for an apartment under construction in Mount Pleasant and is beginning work on the final drawings for an elementary school addition in Fairfield. When her sons are older, she Flat in back? Try this Why grow old? By JOSEPHINE LOWMAN For firming and curving a flat rear hipline do the following exercise. Lie on the floor, on your abdomen, legs together and knees straight. Bend your elbows and rest your chin on your hands. Raise your left leg up as high as you can with a stiff knee, toes pointed. Lower leg. Do this 10 times with left leg and 10 times with the right leg. Isometric exercises For your copy of the booklet, "Isometric Exercises for Women," send 25 cents and a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request to Josephine Lowman, in care of The Des Moines Sunday Register. expects to spend more time on her career and is continuing her architectural studies to keep up with innovations in the field. Liberated Despite all the duties that make her career seem secondary, Barbara maintains, "I'm a truly liberated woman. I'm doing what I want to do." Her husband, Dr. Robert Welander, has encouraged her in her work and was pleased and proud that in 1975, as the only woman architect registered in Iowa, she was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Women of America. The program, supported by several leading women's organizations, recognizes women between the ages of 21 and 35 for civic and professional accomplishments. Barbara chose architecture as a career because a high school proficiency test showed she was superior in mathematics, engineering and art. "I enjoyed the precision of drafting and, while I found some of the work difficult, it all was interesting," she explained. "Architecture, of course, is so much more than merely making artistic floor plans or creative designs for house exteriors. The structural drawings and engineering features often are even more important, which may be why there aren't more women in architecture." Few women infield James Lynch of Des Moines, president of the State Board of Architectural Examiners, agrees. Despite women's liberation, there are only about 500 women among the 88,00fr architects registered in the country. "It's a profession that does not attract many women for several reasons," Lynch explained. "It can take longer to become a registered architect than to become a doctor. It now takes from six to eight years of schooling, depending on the school, The Welanders (top picture) relax on the spacious porch that Robert Welander built for a summer family room. In Barbara Welander's drafting room (bottom), Matthew (left) and David have special "work areas." They keep busy while their mother checks blueprints. plus three years of internship. Not many women want to devote that much time to training. "In addition, the construction side seems to appeal more to men than it does to women. However, there are some excellent women architects in America, but not many." Victorian farmhouse The Welanders' Victorian farmhouse, on a windswept hill near Mount Pleasant, was shabby and run-down when the couple purchased it 10 years ago. It had been rental property and, though structurally sound, needed a lot of work. The couple simply camped out several months while they cleaned things up and made the house livable. Then they started restoring it, room by room. They added a new roof, insulation, new chimney, plumbing, stairs and storm windows. Every room needed repairs and complete redecorating. In addition, they remodeled the kitchen, enlarged a utility room, built on a garage, a living-porch, breezeway and 20- by 42-foot workshop, where he does everything from repairing old furniture to making spindles for the stairway. He has done all the building and remodeling work himself. He defers, however, to the professional in the family and has her draw up plans for building projects. "It probably seems strange for a contemporary architect to be living in a Victorian house," said Barbara. "But I grew up happily in Mount Pleasant in a big old house and we wanted the space and character and the feeling of country living that this house provides." The Everything Coat Keep off the cold and repel the rain in (hit* attractive storm coat from Count Komi Very versatile with a warm acrylic zip in and out lining, shell coat is cotton and polyester. Also available in other . Sitcb 6 to 12. $118 DRESSING NOW . . . Soft and adaptable. Waistline and cuffs neatly gathered on elastic tot a figure flattering dress Regular Retail $33.50 OUR PRICE 22.40 Supremely soft, suede like split skirt with blouson top Regular Retail $49.50 OUR PRICE 33.10 Many other styles of dresses /available. Sizes 3/4-13/14 -Alii washable L See our fashions presented at ihe / ( Drawbridge Restaur- 1 \ ant, West Des \ \ Moines, Thursdays V at lunch. \J THREE LOCATIONS LAMOWI DE§ MOINCS CLEAR LAM LamoniExit.lrit. 35 1239 - 73rd Str«« iOOOHwyiS-E

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