Inspired the Pueblo Deco style; built several landmark hotels and lodges throughout the southwestern U.S., including the Hopi House, Hermit's Rest, the Lookout Studio observatory, and the four Mary Jane Colter Buildings, all of which were classified a National Historic Landmark.
She attended San Francisco's California School of Design and started working for the Fred Harvey Company as an interior designer in 1901. Her first project was decorating the Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque.
She considered La Posada Hotel in Arizona to be her masterpiece.
She traveled with her family as a child throughout frontier Minnesota, Texas, and Colorado. Her father passed away in 1886.
She sought to carry on the legacies of such innovative architects as Le Corbusier.