GERTRUDE GARDNER 2018-10-02T11:12:41-05:00

Project Description

THE ICON: Gertrude Gardner

THE LEGACY: When Gertrude Gardner decided to go into real estate, she was entering a male-dominated profession. But by 1943, when she formed the real estate company bearing her name, World War II was raging, and hundreds of thousands of men were away in the armed forces. Her company took off. It grew so steadily that, in a bit of gender-role reversal, she hired her husband, banker Warren G. Gardner, to be her bookkeeper. She was the company’s president until 1979 and chairwoman of the board until her death. Gardner “ushered in women’s rights in the real estate business and began the women’s movement in real estate in New Orleans,” said Albert Pappalardo, president of the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, when she died. “She was a pioneer, there’s no question about it.”

THE ARTIST: Michael McManus

THE INSPIRATION: “I’ve just always loved houses and helping friends find them and do them over, so I decided it would be quite logical for me to try selling real estate. I asked myself, ‘Why not? Why not just see?'” — Gertrude Gardner, in a 1977 interview