Female, born 11/18/1904, died 12/30/1989

Associated with the firm network

Schindler, Rudolph M., Architect

Professional History

Draftsperson, Rudolph Schindler, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, 1944-.

Award, Historical Society of Southern California, 1989; Award, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, 1989;

Esther McCoy papers, 1876-1990, (bulk 1938-1989), in the Reference Department, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington. D.C. 20560; (SeeAccessed 08/02/2011.)


Coursework, University of Michigan, 1926;


Born in Arkansas in 1904, McCoy spent much of her childhood in Kansas, before attending the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI. From there, she moved to New York, NY, to work as a writer, and then moved to Los Angeles, CA, in 1932.

Married the writer, Berkeley Greene Tobey, in 1941; Tobey died in 1962.

McCoy was one of the most prolific and important writers on modern architecture in Southern California during the 1950s-1980s. Her frequent articles in the Los Angeles Times explained the work of modernists to a mass audience. The University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Architecture’s Architectural Guild created an award, the Esther McCoy Award, to honor her achievements in architectural scholarship.

PCAD id: 4319