Women's Club




Minerva Parker advertises her new practice

Minerva Parker marries Rev. William I. Nichols in December

William and Minerva's first daughter, Adelaide, is born in 1894

Their second daughter, Carol, is born in 1895

The family moves to Brooklyn in 1896

Their third child, son John Doane, is born in 1899

Their youngest son, William, is born in 1905

Female Clients

Rachel Foster Avery




Adelaide Nichols Baker



Mrs. M. Barbour/

Martin Barber

Mrs. Baugh

Mrs. S.E. Bewley

Miss Mary Botts

Misses Mary and Jane Campbell

Mrs. E.R. Gaskill

Miss L.E. Gallagher

Mrs. E.C. Hartell (or Harfell)

Dr. Maria Nye Johnson

Mrs. Frances Jordan (or Jardan)

Mrs. John O. Keim


Mrs. Maxwell






Mrs. E.C. McCammon

Miss Elizabeth Newport

Self (Minerva Parker Nichols)


Self (Minerva Parker Nichols)



Dr. Ida V. Stambach





Miss Sarah Stewart

(1890)  Avery was Susan B. Anthony's mentee. She commissioned Minerva to design a house in a rural area of Northeast Philadelphia, with the intention of both living there and hosting meetings for women's suffrage and other causes. Today, the house is intact and known as Cranaleith Spiritual Retreat Center.

(Unknown date)  House designed for Adelaide Nichols Baker, Minerva's daughter, at 82 Clinton Avenue in Westport, Connecticut.

(1892) Unidentified project on "Broad above Dauphin" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One source refers to this commission as "Renaissance style."


(1890)  The 1891 Gopsill directory lists an Elizabeth Baugh, widow of William, on Patton Street north of Penn Street, Germantown, Philadelphia.

(1889)  Residence at 104 Grayling Avenue in Narberth, Pennsylvania.

(1890)  Residential project, 535 W. Hortter Street, Philadelphia.

(1891)  Jane Campbell was a publisher and Mary was a teacher. Minerva's design for these sisters was for a duplex home in Germantown, Philadelphia.

(1891)  Residential project for Mrs. Gaskill in Canton, Ohio.

(1890)  Project (unidentified typology) in Moore's Station.


(1889, 1890)  House and store in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.

(1892) House in San Francisco, California. Maria Nye Johnson was a doctor with educational and practitioner ties to Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. Address unidentified.


(1890)  Unidentified project in Bala, Pennsylvania. Possibly the house at 320 Cynwyd Road.

(1893)  Alterations to the residence of Mrs. John O. Keim. Address unidentified.

(1889)  Little is known about this commission, but "Mrs. Maxwell" may refer to Minerva Parker's mother, Amanda, who married Dr. Samuel Maxwell in 1876. He died a year later, and Minerva Parker lived with her mother and siblings until she married Rev. William I. Nichols in 1891. This commission, therefore, may refer to a project Parker designed for her mother; it may also be linked to the 1890 commission Parker listed for "Self" - both projects were located in Oak Lane (Philadelphia), PA.

(1891)  Unidentified project in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

(1890)  Unidentified project in Longport, New Jersey.

(1890)  Unidentified project in Oak Lane, Philadelphia. May be related to the 1889 commission for Mrs. Maxwell, if that commission refers to her mother.

(Unknown date)  Alterations to the Nichols family summer home on Sharp Hill Road in Wilton, Connecticut.

(1891, 1893)  Ida Valerie Stambach was a homeopathic doctor who graduated from Hahnemann College in 1888. She specialized in women's and children's diseases. She never married but by 1900, she had taken in her niece and nephew  for unknown reasons. She was a member of Santa Barbara Women's Club.

(1890)  Residential project in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey. Sarah Stewart was a nationally-known educator, active in the movement to promote kindergartens in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. The house in Avon-by-the-Sea was likely a cottage for her retirement.

Male Clients

James F. Beale


Henry R. Bennett



Lewis T. Brooke



Mr. Bulow

J. H. Carter




George W. (or M.) Christy

David S. Cresswell

E.J. Davis

Millwood Justice


John M. Kennedy

Irwin M. Megargee

Wallace Munn

W.J. Nichols


Dr. W.P. Painter



J. A. Patterson

Abraham Pennock


John O. Sheets/Sheetz






Max M. Suppes

W.R. Wright

(1889)  According to the 1896 Gopsill guide, one James Beale was a printer with an office at 719 Sansom Street and a home in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

(1890)  Bennett was an investor in the Parksley Land Improvement Company. Parksley, Virginia has a Bennett Street. It is unclear whether Minerva's project for Bennett was a private residence or a commission for the company.

(1889)  Brooke had an office as a real estate broker in 14 S. Broad Street - the same building as E.W. Thorne's architectural practice (where Minerva Parker apprenticed) and, later, Minerva Parker's independent practice.

(pre-1890) Residence. Possibly in Narberth, Pennsylvania.

(1890)  According to the 1894 Gopsill directory, a J.H. Carter worked in real estate with an office at 249 S. 6th Street. In 1890, Minerva listed a project in the Philadelphia Real Estate and Builders' Guide for 14 residences at 49th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, and 16 residences at 49th and Ludlow Streets in Philadelphia. It is unclear, however, whether her designs were actually built.


(1888)  Residence at 210 N. Essex Avenue in Narberth, Pennsylvania. George Christy was one of the founders of the 1889 Narberth Park Association (Narberth's earliest civic association), and Vice President of the Elm Land Improvement Company.

(1891)  Cresswell owned Eagle Iron Works, an iron foundry in the Nicetown neighborhood in Philadelphia. Minerva designed a new facility for his foundry.

(1889)  E.J. Davis may refer to Edward Davis, a dairyman listed at 104 Dudley Ave., Narberth, PA.

(1889) Justice was the president of a wholesale store and a Quaker who attended meeting at Radnor Monthly Meeting. It is unclear whether his first name was Millwood or Miller.

(pre-1890)  Residence in unknown location.

(1893)  Megargee was a miller who died in 1904.

(1890) Munn had a patent on terra cotta tiles, and his family owned the house until the 1970s (estimated). The plaster in a first floor room shows the inscriptions of a John Fitz (an artist, illustrator, and handyman at the time) and a William J. Vanderslue (a wallpaper salesman).


(1891)  Home, possibly a summer residence, designed for William J. Nichols, Minerva's husband (as of December 1891, the same year that this commission was listed).

(1890)  William Painter, with wife Margaret Middleton Painter, lived in Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He died in 1919 at the age of 78 years; Margaret Painter died in 1900 at the age of 54 years.

(1889)  Patterson was likely an engineer (according to records of the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia), although there are also city directory entries for a J.A. Patterson & Company who worked in real estate in Center City Philadelphia in the early twentieth century. 

(1891) Minerva designed alterations and additions for Pennock, who may have been a contractor on the New Century Club, Philadelphia's headquarters.

(1893)  Additions and alterations to Sheets (or Sheetz' - contemporary records vary) home at 3313 Hamilton Street, Philadelphia. The biographical information for Sheets/Sheetz is unclear to date: the 1894 Gopsill directory lists a "John O. Sheetz, collector" with a residence at 421 Brown Street (contradicting this commission's address); a second John Sheets (of Howe and Sheets) was a physician at 1324 Spring Garden Street (office or residence - unknown).

(1889)   Maximilien M. Suppes was listed in Johnstown city directories as a master mechanic. Born on February 18, 1856, he married Anna E. Mark McConihe (of Troy, New York) on July 12, 1882. At various points in the 1880s and 1890s, he was listed as a superintendent of Johnson Company and a manager of theNational Tube Compay's plants in Lorain, Ohio.

(1889)  In the 1887 Philadelphia City Directory, W.R. Wright's occupation was "tiles." Once he moved to Narberth, he served on the public safety committee for the Narberth Fire Association. He may have hired Minerva to design two residences. 


Guano & Raggio


Moore Bros.


Overbrook Land Company


Parksley Land Improvement Company

Wendell & Smith

(1890, 1891, 1892)  Guano & Raggio (sometimes misspelled at Cuano & Raggio) was a pasta production company in South Philadelphia. Minerva designed a facility for the company at 7th and Marriott (now Montrose) Streets, Philadelphia.

(1892)  According to the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide, this commission was a "residential operation." However, the entries for "Moore Brothers" in contemporary business directories are not for real estate operators. (One "Moore Bros., Jas. A. and Thos.G., was for printers based at 1627 S. 20th Street, as of 1896; a second "Moore Bros., William J. and John V." owned stables as of 1900.)

(1891)  Minerva was commissioned for a speculative development at 61st Street and Columbia Avenue in Philadelphia. It is unclear whether the project was built.

(1889, 1890)   Parksley, located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, was a railroad town established by Pennsylvania Railroad officials from Philadelphia. A fire in the town in 1896 may have destroyed the inn that Minerva designed for the Parksley Land Improvement Company.

(pre-1891)  Minerva was associated with a speculative development project in St. David's, Pennsylvania.

Women's Clubs

New Century Club, Philadelphia











New Century Club, Wilmington



​Queen Isabella Association

(1891)  The New Century Club chapter in Philadelphia was established to offer middle- and upperclass women (predominantly white women) an opportunity outside the home to gather for classes, lectures, and social events. The club was not explicitly involved in women's suffrage and other activism, but its members were often involved in those movements outside of the New Century Club. The Philadelphia chapter was among the earliest to have its own clubhouse, and theirs was the first designed by a woman. The building was located at 124 S. 12th Street but was demolished in the 1970s. At the time of Minerva's commission, the New Century Club (Phila.) rosters included several women associated with Minerva's other work, including: Jane Campbell (a client for a private residence); Rachel Foster Avery (a client for a private residence); and Emily Sartain (president of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, where Minerva later taught classes in architectural ornament).

(1893)  Following the lead of its sister club in Philadelphia, the New Century Club of Wilmington commissioned a clubhouse to be built in Wilmington, Delaware. The house - now the Delaware Children's Theatre - is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(1890, 1891)  Minerva's first listed commission for the Association was in 1890. She was enlisted to design a pavilion for the World's Columbian Exposition (scheduled for 1892 but delayed until 1893). As part of the exposition, which marked the 400th anniversary of Columbus' landing in America), the Queen Isabella Association pavilion was commissioned to commemorate the role of Queen Isabella of Spain in Columbus' voyage. Due to competition with the Women's Building at the fair, Minerva's design was never built.


First Church of Deerfield (Unitarian)

Oak Lane Presbyterian Church




​Spring Garden Unitarian Society


​Unitarian Church

[Unidentified Church]

(1913)  Additions and alterations.



(Unknown date)  A "preliminary competitive sketch" is located among the Minerva Parker Nichols papers held by Schlesinger Library. Because this sketch is preliminary and "competitive," it is not clear whether this design was implemented. In any case, the building in the drawings seems to be Oak Lane Presbyterian Church's first location at 66th Avenue and N. 7th Street (now the True Christian Fellowship Outreach Ministries).


(pre-1892)  Alterations to the Spring Garden Unitarian Society building at Broad and Brandywine Streets in Philadelphia. Now demolished.

(1891)  Additions and alterations to Unitarian church in Wilmington, Delaware.

(pre-1901) Unidentified church commission in Gouverneur, New York, mentioned in a 1901 profile of Minerva in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Buckingham Browne Nichols School

Hackley School


[Unidentified Nursery School]

(pre-1901)  School building at 80 Gerrys Landing Road, demolished. Minerva was related by marriage to the "Nichols" in the school name.


(pre-1902)  Additions to the main Hackley School building, based in Mrs. Hackley's home (before additional buildings were constructed).

(post-1891)  Minerva's drawings include a plan and elevation drawing for a small nursery school. The client, location, and status are unknown.


F.B. Crooke

F.L. Harrington





C.F. Johnson

​​Riverside Houses/Homes


E.Y. Taylor


[Unidentified Client]

(1890)  Unidentified project in unknown location.

(1892, 1893)  Residential project on Upsal Street in Philadelphia. May be 123 W. Upsal Street, based on contemporary city directory entries for Edwin Harrington. (The "F" initial in the client name may have been a typographical error in the Philadelphia Real Estate and Builders' Guide; such errors were not uncommon.)

(1890)  Unidentified project in Beaumont, Texas.


(c. 1896)  Reference to Minerva's work for Alfred T. White to design the low-income residences known as Riverside Houses (or Homes). This commission has not been confirmed.

(1890)  Client may be Emily Y. Taylor, the president of the New Century Club, Philadelphia. This has not been confirmed.

(Unknown date)  Residence for an unidentified client, from sketch in Adelaide Nichols Baker papers in Schlesinger Library.