Mildred Grunau (1909-1992)


Grunau, Mildred

Personal Information

Gender:     Female
Occupation:    American architect
Location (state):    MN

AIA Affiliation

Not a member of the AIA.

Biographical Sources

Biographical Information:
Contributed by Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis
"Millie" Grunau, as she was best known, was born in South St. Paul, Minnesota in 1909. She was educated at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, where she finished two years of architectural training in 1932. With jobs scarce in the Depression, Grunau taught high school mathematics for a time before her employment with a contracting firm as a draftsman. In about 1937, the Federal Housing Administration requested use of her house plans as models to spur the building of affordable housing across the country. She worked for many years with Brown-Blodgett, a St. Paul firm that produced stock house plans for sale to builders and individuals. Grunau produced literally hundreds of plans and it was estimated that, by 1961, some 3,000 residences had been built in 50 states from her plans. She died in Miami, Florida in 1992.

Related Records

Archival Holdings

Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis
    Mildred Grunau papers (N 146)
    The collection includes more than 170 designs, including elevations and plans with some sketches, chiefly for residential structures in Minnesota. Also included are photographs of projects, and personal photographs and papers, among them, papers relating to Beta Sigma Pi, the University of Minnesota and Macalester College, and the Minnesota League of Fencing.
    For more information https://www.lib.umn.edu/naa