Close, Elizabeth Scheu, 1912-

Alternative names
Birth 1912-06-04
Death 2011-11-29

Biographical notes:

Winston Close was a native of Appleton, Minnesota, and was graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked as a draftsman for several Minneapolis firms from 1927 until 1938 when he and Elizabeth Scheu married and began their partnership. Winston Close died in Minneapolis on June 15, 1997.

Elizabeth Scheu was born in Vienna in 1912 and studied at the Wiener (Vienna) Technische Hochschule (1930) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1934-1935), where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture. Following graduation, she was employed by Oskar Stonorov in 1935-1936 to design public housing in Philadelphia. Scheu later was a designer for Magney and Tusler of Minneapolis, 1936-1938.

In 1938, Winston and Elizabeth Close began their own firm, Close Associates. From 1943 to 1946, the Close practice temporarily halted while Winston served in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Upon their return to Minneapolis, the Closes were employed by the Page and Hill Company for 15 years in the design of prefabricated housing. Concurrently, Winston was a professor of architecture at the University of Minnesota and campus advisory architect from 1950 to 1971, overseeing planning of the Morris campus and the West Bank campus in Minneapolis. Elizabeth also taught interior design at the Minneapolis School of Art. The husband and wife team is most noted for their residential designs which are custom made for the client and are created to blend with the environment. In addition to residential architecture, they have designed public and private housing projects, medical facilities, and the Gray Freshwater Biological Institute on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. They were both elected Fellows of the AIA in 1969.

From the guide to the Close Associates papers, 1938-1980, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts Division [naa])


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Ark ID:


  • Women architects
  • Architecture
  • Architecture, Domestic--Minnesota--Designs and plans


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  • Minnesota (as recorded)