That Rare Manhattan Species, the Female Architect

Last night's talk with 48 Bond architect Deborah Burke pretty much had it all.  Bellinis, check. Lamb kabobs, check. 48 Bond chocolate bars, double  check!

Perhaps the only thing missing were other architects to hear Ms. Burke speak.

"I don't see many right now," a PR rep for Rubenstein Associates noted shortly before the talk. "I see a lot of brokers, though."

In fact, the room was filled with brokers. Apparently word spreads rapidly among the closers when the food is top-notch.

"A lot of times you will see brokers calling other brokers if the food is good at these things," someone whispered to The Observer.

Ms. Burke's talk was being held in the sales office at 48 Bond Street, her first major residential condominium project in New York. The fact that she was chosen to design the development is a feat in many ways, but mainly because female architects of note are rarely commissioned for projects this big. Ms. Burke admitted to The Observer that at the moment it is really just her and Annabelle Selldorf.

"We're buddies, too!" she exclaimed "We go out drinking!"

As for the reason that there aren't more women at the top of the profession, Ms. Burke was at a loss.

"Maybe it is because developers don't like working with women? I don't know."

Ms. Burke would not disclose anything about her upcoming New York project (she can spill the beans in two months). She did say that she was working on a project in Austin, Texas, at the moment that would at least be partially residential.

When it came time for the talk, it was short and sweet, with the requisite feminist tinge.

"Having a woman design a building in New York is a long time coming," Ms. Burke said to a few scattered cheers.

After a quick question and answer session, most people made their way to the exit. But not without picking up one last thing before they left.

"Ooooh, these are hot!" one broker noted of the chocolate bars that had "48 Bond" on the wrapper. "Looks like this is going to be dessert."