Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Faith Meem

Faith Meem


Honored November 1985

Faith Meem

Faith Meem's interest in construction came naturally. Her father's "first love" was construction--bricks and mortar. He invented some of the first modular houses," says Faith's daughter, Nancy Meem Wirth.

Born in 1902 to Faith Gregg Bemis and Albert Farwell Bemis, Faith grew up in the Boston suburb of Chestnut Hill. One of seven children, Faith and her father enjoyed doing construction projects together. Faith attended Vassar for a couple of years, but when she became unhappy, her father encouraged her to study art in France.

On her return, Faith wanted to study architecture. Women weren't admitted to MIT or Harvard in the 1920's. The two schools had created the Cambridge School of Design for women who wanted to study architecture and landscape design. Faith received her degree from this school in the late 1920s. Afterwards, she remodeled a house in Washington, D.C., and worked briefly in New York, "but it was during the Depression and jobs were scarce," Nancy said.