Chloethiel Woodard Smith, 82, an architect and urban planner whose designs and ideas helped shape contemporary Washington, died of cancer Dec. 30 at The Georgetown, a residential facility for senior citizens where she lived.
Mrs. Smith retired in 1982 after having practiced architecture here for almost 50 years. Her firm designed a major portion of the residential and commercial construction in the urban renewal area of Southwest Washington; clusters of row houses in Reston; the Southwest Freeway; the E Street Expressway near the State Department from 23rd Street to 19th Street; the F Street pedestrian promenade downtown; major downtown office buildings and dozens of smaller offices, stores and schools across the metropolitan area.
She also designed and built large residential projects in Boston and St. Louis.
In the nation's capital, her architectural impact was immense. It came from her work and also from her influence on the work of other architects during her service on the Fine Arts Commission from 1967 to 1976. She also wrote extensively about architecture and planning, and she was an eloquent spokeswoman for the profession.
"Architects are the set designers in people's lives, and until the lights go on and the play begins, we are the only people who have seen the whole and put the elements together," Mrs. Smith once said. "Seeing the buildings that shape people's lives before they are there and seeing them well in my mind's eye -- that is the source of my work."
In downtown Washington, Mrs. Smith probably was best known as the architect of three of the four soaring office buildings at Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW: the Blake Building on the southeast corner, 1100 Connecticut on the northwest corner and Washington Square on the southwest corner. Charles Atherton, secretary of the Fine Arts Commission, called Washington Square "the best office building in Washington."
She also did the Capitol Park apartments with Nicholas Satterlee, her partner at the time; the Harbour Square town houses in Southwest Washington; the National Airport Metro station; the 480-acre Consolidated Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Beltsville; the Chestnut Lodge mental hospital for children in Rockville; and the Waterview Townhouses in Reston, some of which have spiral steps descending into a lake.
"Their feet in the water," was how Mrs. Smith described them.
Mrs. Smith was born in Peoria, Ill. She graduated from the University of Oregon and received a master's degree in architecture and urban planning from Washington University in St. Louis. In 1935, she came to Washington as chief of research and planning for the Federal Housing Administration. Five years later, she entered private practice.
In 1940, she married Bromley K. Smith, a Foreign Service officer who, from 1961 to 1968, was executive secretary of the National Security Council. She accompanied him to posts in Montreal and La Paz, Bolivia, where she taught architecture at the University of San Andres. In 1958, she designed the American Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Over the years, she had been a partner in architectural firms with Arthur Keyes, Satterlee and Francis Donald Lethbridge. From 1963 until her retirement, she had her own firm, Chloethiel Woodard Smith and Associates.
She won prizes and awards for planning studies and architecture in the 552-acre Southwest Urban Renewal project of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The effort has since come under criticism as an exercise in "urban removal," because many of the original residents, mostly low-income black people, were moved out to make room for new construction.
On the Southwest waterfront, Mrs. Smith wanted to build a pedestrian Ponte Vecchio-like bridge, complete with restaurants and shops, connecting Maine Avenue and East Potomac Park and providing access to a National Aquarium. The idea won critical acclaim, but the aquarium was never built and the plan was dropped.
In her presentation to the Fine Arts Commission for the design of the E Street Expressway, Mrs. Smith spoke forcefully of the road builder's potential for damaging the urban landscape.
"If the surface of the city is so destroyed by brutal paved and walled gashes that separate it into a series of islands, it will become only a city for vehicles and not a city for people," she said.
She was hired for that project, in effect, to beautify what already had been decided upon, and she did it with touches such as lining the walls of the burrowed roadway with a surface of stone cut into attractive rectangular or hexagonal patterns.
Her ideas were circulated nationally. In a 1967 profile, New Yorker magazine called Mrs. Smith "quite simply one of the best architects, planners and thinkers about cities now working anywhere." Characteristically, Mrs. Smith refused to read the article, because the magazine had referred to her as a "lady architect." Her rise to the upper levels of her profession had preceded the women's rights movement, and she always resented any emphasis on her sex.
She once observed that "only 10 percent of being an architect is romantic and creative, and the other 90 percent is getting and keeping clients happy, and getting specifications and getting out on the job and supervising the work of the contractor."
Her husband died in 1987.
Survivors include two children, Bromley K. Smith Jr. of Kenya and Suzanne Smith Arias of Madrid, and three grandchildren.
MILTON M. RODES
Milton M. Rodes, 77, a retired management and budget analyst and a past president of the Allied Civic Group, a federation of civic organizations in Montgomery County, died Dec. 24 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville. He had pneumonia and diabetes.
A former resident of Silver Spring, Mr. Rodes was born in New York City. He graduated from City College of New York, and during World War II, he served in the Army.
He moved to the Washington area in 1944 and worked for the War Production Board, a wartime agency. In the early 1950s, he was a traffic official in the D.C. government, and he helped institute fringe parking for commuters at the Carter Barron Amphitheater and other locations.
Mr. Rodes later worked for the Army Ordnance Corps and the Federal Aviation Administration. From 1961 until he retired from the federal government in 1970, he was a management analyst in the Economic Development Administration of the Commerce Department. He spent the next five years as a fiscal and budget analyst for the Maryland state government.
Mr. Rodes was a former member of advisory committees to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Montgomery County Council and the Montgomery County Board of Education. In 1961, he received the Edward G. Stott Award from the Allied Civic Group for an analysis he made of the Montgomery County school budget.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Shirley Rubinstein Rodes of Silver Spring; two children, Ellen Eisner of Silver Spring and Phyllis Jacoby of Clifton, Va.; a sister, Frances Kardos of Flushing, N.Y.; and three grandchildren.
MURRAY S. DAVIS
Murray S. Davis, 75, a retired editor and analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency who worked in Vietnam, Okinawa, Japan and Britain as well as the United States, died of cancer Dec. 29 at his home in Benicia, Calif.
Mr. Davis was born in New York. He attended Clark University and graduated from the University of Michigan. He received a master's degree in English from Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the Army.
After the war, he settled in the Washington area. He joined the CIA in 1949 and retired in 1973. A former resident of Vienna, he was stationed in San Francisco for his last five years with the agency.
When he retired, Mr. Davis became a consultant on technical manuals for the Sperry corporation and Unisys. He retired about 1988.
His marriage to the former Marie Ana Bou ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, Pearl Davis of Benicia; two daughters from his first marriage, Carol Jones of Sebastopol, Calif., and Elizabeth Cochran of Christiansburg, Va.; and two grandchildren.
GERALD P. O'GRADY
Lawyer and Airline Executive
Gerald P. O'Grady, 78, a Washington lawyer who became executive vice president and chief counsel of Western Airlines in Los Angeles, died of cancer Dec. 28 at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
A former resident of Bethesda, Mr. O'Grady was born in St. Albans, Vt. He graduated from Tufts University. In 1935, he moved to Washington as a law student at Georgetown University, from which he received his degree in 1939.
In 1941, he established a law practice in Washington, specializing in corporate and securities matters. In 1967, he moved to Los Angeles and went to work for Western Airlines. He retired in 1979.
Mr. O'Grady, a resident of Westlake Village, Calif., was a former member of Congressional Country Club and the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bethesda.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Mary M. O'Grady of Westlake Village; two sons, Dr. Gerald P. O'Grady Jr. of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Kevin E. O'Grady of Glenelg, Md.; and two grandchildren.
JOHN L. HARTMAN
John L. Hartman, 72, a retired installer with Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co., died of congestive heart failure Dec. 29 at Montgomery General Hospital.
Mr. Hartman, who lived in Rockville, was born in Washington. He attended McKinley Technical High School. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces in the Pacific.
He retired from the telephone company in 1982 after 36 years of service. He was a member of the Alexander Graham Bell chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America and the Father Rosensteel Council of the Knights of Columbus.
He was a eucharistic minister and an Aramanthean at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Norbeck.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Elizabeth Hartman of Rockville; three children, John P. Hartman of Damascus, Judith A. Giffin of Hagerstown, Md., and Kathleen M. Donnelly of Eldersburg, Md.; a sister, Margaret Quinn of Silver Spring; and nine grandchildren.
Lee Bottens, 89, a former vice president of the Life Underwriters Training Council in Washington, died Dec. 29 at Montgomery General Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. Bottens, who lived in Olney, was born in Nauvoo, Ill. He came to Washington after high school and worked in the office of Sen. T.H. Caraway (D-Ark.) in the 1920s.
He received a law degree from Southeastern University and moved to New York, where he was secretary of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association before joining the staff of the Life Underwriters Training Council in 1947. He came to Washington when the organization moved here about 1950. He retired as vice president of the council in 1968.
Mr. Bottens was a former district governor of Toastmasters International, and he had served on the President's Committee for the Physically Handicapped.
Survivors include his wife, Lillis Bottens of Olney.