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School of Architecture Records

Identifier: 0000-0005

Scope and Content Note

The Records of the Architecture Department are housed in four boxes and are arranged in nine series. Series have been designated for administrative materials, exhibits, faculty papers, the Institute of Building Science, projects, publications, student work, the Urban Laboratory, and oversized material. These records include published articles, annual reports, meeting minutes, course materials, project products and student theses. Due to faculty, student, and community interaction, materials in the project, student, publication, and Institute of Building Science relate to or overlap one another. Throughout the collection, materials from the 1930s to the 1950s are sparse. The majority of the collection consists of published articles and materials produced from student or faculty research projects.


  • Majority of material found within 1905-1990
  • 1905-2009

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open without restriction.


The Department of Architecture began as a part of the School of Applied Design at the new Carnegie Technical Schools in 1905. During the first year of its operation, only courses in architecture were offered in the School of Applied Design. The founder's vision of the architecture program was to create an American fusion of two Paris schools: the Ecole Polytechnique (founded to train engineers and technicians) and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (founded to train artists and architects). At the Carnegie Technical Schools, architectural students began their training in common classes from the School of the Applied Science (in math, chemistry, drawing, and shop practice.) The next three years of the program were spent in practical training courses such as plumbing, masonry/bricklaying, and electrical wiring. Fifty-eight students enrolled the first year to be taught by Henry Hornbostel, Benno Janssen, and Edward B. Lee. The second year, 80 students attended, including students in the new evening classes. Henry K. McGoodwin was also added as a teacher. Henry Hornbostel was the first Head of the Department. Henry McGoodwin also served as Head from 1906-1918.

When the Carnegie Technical Schools became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912, the curriculum had shifted toward the Beaux-Art style and emphasis was put on drawing and modeling. A new building was erected in 1916 to house the College of the Fine Arts, and the old School of Applied Design was expanded to include courses in disciplines such as music and drama. By 1923, there were 140 daytime students in architecture and 73 night school students.

By the late 1940s, architectural design at Carnegie Institute of Technology had moved away from the Beaux-Art style and instead focused on observation of human behavior and needs in relation to the human environment. A pragmatic approach was favored and courses were augmented with visiting critics in areas such as landscape architecture. The department also placed emphasis on students' ability to communicate both verbally and graphically. This shift was a result of the implementation of the revolutionary Carnegie Plan developed by President Doherty to incorporate more interdisciplinary studies for all Carnegie Tech students.

The next shift in curriculum occurred with the appointment of Charles M. Eastman in 1967 as Assistant Professor of Architecture and Computer Design. Eastman developed a Ph.D. program in the new science of Computer Aided Design and wrote many articles about both its educational and professional uses. Volker Hartkopf was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Architecture in 1972 and further broadened the post-graduate program, offering courses in Building Science and Computational Design.

During the 1970s, the program was a four level, variable length program. When Omar Akin was appointed Department Head in 1981, he introduced a fixed, five year Bachelor of Architecture curriculum. In 1985, required courses for an undergraduate architectural degree included courses in engineering, management sciences, history, social sciences, and humanities. Students also learned technology and research skills. In 1994, Vivian Loftness was appointed the Head of the Department and a new curriculum was developed by the faculty that centered around a studio sequence where students were taught design, drawing, digital media, history, theory, technology, and practice.


5 Linear feet (5 boxes and additional oversize material. )




This collection contains the records of the Architecture Department and consists of published articles, annual reports, meeting minutes, course materials, project products and student theses. A majority of the collection consists of published articles and materials produced from student or faculty research projects.

Immedeate Source of Aquisition

The majority of materials were received in one accession. Two donations of alumni material (Mahaffey, Frederick and Thomas, George) were received in 2012 and integrated into the collection in May 2013.


One folder of oversized materials have been separated and stored in the Hunt Library second floor map case in drawer 8. A list of the materials can be found in series eight.

Architecture Department Records, 1905-2009
Cassandra Nespor
June 21, 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • May 22, 2013: Updated by Laure Bukh
  • 2024/04/24: This finding aid was reviewed during a reparative language review in April 2024. It may contain language considered to be outdated and/or offensive. The original language was retained as it was quoted from the original sources and provides important context about materials, their creators, and/or the society in which the materials were created.

Repository Details

Part of the Carnegie Mellon University Archives Repository

4909 Frew St
Pittsburgh PA 15213
(412) 268-5021