Ebba Wicks Brown
The architecture of Astoria, Oregon, has been well-shaped and imprinted upon by one family line, Ebba W. Brown, and her father John E. Wicks. Having grown up in Astoria surrounded by her father’s work, Ebba went on to becoming the second woman in Oregon to become a licensed architect by examination.
Ebba Lenore Wicks was born in Astoria on Jan 15, 1914 to prominent local architect John E. Wicks and Maria Cederberg. She graduated from Astoria High School in 1932. She attended high school in a building designed by her father in 1909; and which she later helped to renovate as part of the Clatsop Community College campus during the 1960s.
Ebba went to college at the University of Oregon and afterward returned to Astoria to assist her father at his architectural firm collaborating with him to design the Armory building in 1942; the First Church of Christ, Scientist and the Zion Lutheran Church in 1951; and several Astoria residences incorporating the influence of International Style architecture.
By 1942, Ebba had become the second woman in Oregon to become a licensed architect by examination. She then left Oregon to attend school in Michigan, earning her Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1946.
Ebba married fellow architect Ernest Brown and the couple joined forces with her father to become Wicks and Brown in 1954. Oregon Governor Mark O. Hatfield appointed her as the first woman on the Oregon State Board of Architect Examiners on June 24, 1960. After her father died, in 1963, her firm became Brown & Brown and in 1969, the firm became Brown, Brown & Grider Architects.
Ebba died on April 15, 2006. Her contributions to Astoria should be celebrated for her pioneering contributions to the history of women in architecture, to the development of Northwest Regional style architecture, and for her thoughtful design of numerous Astoria buildings.