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Katherine Stinson Otero Drawings and Plans

Identifier: SWA-Otero-Drawings

Scope and Content

The Katherine Stinson Otero Drawings and Plans Collection consists of two sets of design-level drawings for the Stinson-Otero residence and the Morley residence (1928-1938); and a design-level drawing for the Catherine Gay house (1929) [aka the Gay-Wagner House], all located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


  • 1928-1938


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Katherine Stinson was born February 14, 1891, in Fort Payne, Alabama. Stinson made history as one of the first women pilots in the world. She was an early pioneer in American aviation, and set numerous long-distance flying records. At age 19, Stinson was the fourth woman to obtain a U.S. pilot’s license (1912). She was the first woman to skywrite, to loop-the-loop (1915), to fly as a U.S. mail carrier, to fly over London, and to fly in the Orient, where she conducted a barnstorming tour. Stinson was the first person of either gender to record a night flight, and to perform night skywriting. In 1913 Stinson co-founded the Stinson Aviation Company with her mother, and designed and built aircraft. She was also the first woman to own and operate a flying school, the Stinson School of Aviation in San Antonio, Texas (1915). Kate and her younger sister Marjorie trained over 100 people to fly, including Canadian pilots who flew with the RAF/RCF in World War I. Denied permission to enlist in the U.S. Army during WW I, Stinson drove an ambulance in London and on the front lines in France. Stinson was the first female engineering graduate of North Carolina State University (1941), the first female engineer hired by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (Stinson had a 32-year career with the CAA), and founded the Society of Women Engineers.

Stinson developed tuberculosis in the 1920s and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1928, Stinson married Miguel A. Otero, Jr., the son of former New Mexico Territorial Governor Miguel Otero. Katherine and Miguel raised four adopted children (Katherine’s brother Jack’s children).

Although Stinson Otero had no professional training as an architect, she acquired an affinity for Southwest architecture and began designing notable private residences in Santa Fe in the Spanish Pueblo Style, becoming an award-winning home designer. Stinson Otero’s approach to architectural design was highly unconventional; she drew only informal design-level plans for the homes she created. Additionally, she walked around the construction site with her workmen, pointing out to them where she wanted the walls constructed as work progressed. Stinson Otero died at age 86 at her home in Santa Fe on July 8, 1977, and is buried in Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Other noteworthy Stinson Otero residences include houses she designed in the Plaza Chamisal off the Acequia Madre in Santa Fe, including the principal residence she shared with her husband, and the Dorothy McKibben house on Old Santa Fe Trail.


3 Drawing Sets (0.1 linear ft.)


The Katherine Stinson Otero Drawings and Plans Collection consists of three sets of design-level drawings for three residences in Santa Fe, New Mexico completed during 1928-1938.

Related Archval Material

Katherine Stinson Pictorial Collection, Center for Southwest Research. University Libraries. University of New Mexico. Otero-Stinson Family Papers, Center for Southwest Research. University Libraries. University of New Mexico.
Finding Aid of the Katherine Stinson Otero Drawings and Plans, 1928-1938
Ramona L. Caplan
© 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131