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Saving 20 Sites That Tell the Story of American Women

The sites that get the most public votes will win a total of $2 million from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express.
The Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles.
The Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles.Hannah Macdonald/Beck Media

In 1902, Justina Ford became the first licensed African-American female doctor in Colorado. Then came the hard part: Getting a hospital to let her practice medicine.

As a black woman, Ford had to fight “like a tiger” against racial and gender discrimination, she recalled later in life. Like other black doctors, she was barred from operating out of Denver’s traditional medical facilities, so she started paying house calls to her patients. But eventually, she also asked them to come to her, inviting expecting mothers to a first-floor office in the home she bought with her husband in 1912. Over the course of her 50-year career, Ford helped deliver more than 7,000 babies. And many of the births happened right in that house—a brick, Italianate-style 1890 building in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood.