Ellamae Ellis League (1899-1991)
Ellamae Ellis League practiced as an architect in Macon for more than fifty years, from 1922 until she retired in 1975. She was a pioneering woman in the architectural profession in the South. League ran her own successful practice for forty-one years (1934-75). Her work spanned the whole range of architectural design—new homes, residential remodeling, churches, schools, public housing, office buildings, parking garages, hospitals, and even a residential bomb shelter. League was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) in 1968. At the time of her death on March 4, 1991, League was still the only female member of the FAIA in Georgia, and one of only eight nationwide.
The fourth child of Susan Dilworth Choate and Joseph Oliver Ellis, Ellamae Ellis was born in Macon on July 9, 1899. She and her three brothers attended public schools in Macon. After graduating from Lanier High School in 1916, she briefly attended Wesleyan College. On June 27, 1917, she married George Forrest League.
League Atlanta, had been architects. She joined a Macon firm as an apprentice and remained there for the next six years, as she managed both office and child-rearing duties. During that time League also took correspondence courses from the Beaux Arts Institute of Design in NewYork City.
Inspired by her experience with the Beaux-Arts method of architectural training, League left her childrenreservoir, two church buildings, and a residential restoration. Refusing to seek special consideration as a woman, she stated, "If you are an architect, you are an architect." A major project that she undertook toward the end of her career, in 1968-70, was the restoration of the Grand Opera House in Macon. League closed her practice in 1975 at the age of seventy-six.
In 1934 only 2 percent of American architects were women, and women who were principals in their
Media Gallery: Ellamae Ellis League (1899-1991)