Teresa Grimes on Edla Muir

“A house isn’t a machine, it’s a home.”

Architect Edla Muir was a pioneer of early mid-century modern style, designing homes for Hollywood’s rich and famous, including stars like Shirley Temple and Barbra Stanwick. Unconventional for the time, Muir began her design training as a teenager, later becoming principal of her own successful firm before she was 40. Her prolific career spanned more than thirty years and the design of around 170 houses. Architecture historian Teresa Grimes tells us about this talented and driven California designer.

Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.


Teresa Grimes

Teresa Grimes has 30 years of experience in the field of historic preservation. She is widely recognized as an expert in the identification and evaluation of historical resources having successfully prepared dozens of landmark and historic district applications for a wide variety of property types. Teresa graduated from the University of California with a Master of Art degree in Architecture and has worked in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Maintaining a leadership role from inspection to completion, Teresa has overseen numerous rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects as well as expertly guided property owners through the process of securing Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits and Mills Act Historic Property Contracts. She has managed the preparation of historic structure reports and worked with architects and engineers to comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

Featured Woman

Edla Muir

Edla Muir began her architecture career in 1919, at the age of 13. She was one of the few women who entered the profession in the early part of the 20th century and maintained a successful practice independently after World War II. During Muir’s career she designed period revival-style houses in the 1930s and ‘40s and Ranch and Mid-Century Modern houses in the 1950s and ‘60s. Muir produced a domestic architecture that is noteworthy for expressing modern design with traditional building materials.