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Norma Bonniwell
American architect

Norma Bonniwell

Norma Bonniwell
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American architect
Was Architect
From United States of America
Field Engineering
Gender female
Birth 1 January 1877, Hickory, North Carolina
Death 1 January 1961, Hickory, North Carolina and Windsor, North Carolina (aged 84 years)
Father: George C. Bonniwell
Siblings: James GaitherJosephine Bonniwell
Spouse: William Peele King
The details


Norma N. Bonniwell (1877–1961) was one of the first few women architects in America. 

Short biography

Norma N. Bonniwell, or Norma Bonniwell King, after her marriage, was born in 1877 in Hickory, North Carolina.

She was the sister of architects Josephine Bonniwell and James Gaither; all three children were trained in architecture by their father George C. Bonniwell, who was an architect, manufacturer, and builder.

Norma was interested in design and architecture from a young age and began working at her father's business, Bonniwell and Daughter, when she was in her teens. Her siblings also worked at the same architecture firm. 

In 1983, a prominent attorney Thomas B. Finley (1862–1942), chose Norma as the architect for his house in North Wilkesboro. The choice was rather unusual as Norma was only sixteen at the time, and the industry was heavily dominated by males. Norma designed an elaborate Queen Anne style residence, now known as the Thomas B. Finley House, which in 2008 got listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A few years later, she designed another, distinctive Queen Anne-style house, the W. A. Thomas House, located in Statesville, North Carolina. 

In around 1899, Norma, and her sister and father took their architecture business to Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Norma Bonniwell married William Peele King on November 20, 1901, and the couple settled in Windsor NC. Norma did not return to her architectural practice after her marriage. 

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