The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania preserves the works of more than 400 designers from the 17th century to the present. The research collections in the Archives are available to faculty, students, and scholars for independent study as well as to support teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. The archives facility in the lower level of the Fisher Fine Arts Building houses the Harvey & Irwin Kroiz Gallery, a specialized library, reading room, and seminar room, as well as storage and processing facilities.
Established in the fall of 1978, the Architectural Archives gained its international reputation initially through the Louis I. Kahn Collection whose resources include all drawings, models, photographs, correspondence, and project files from Kahn's office. Purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from the Kahn estate in 1975, the Collection was placed on permanent loan to the University by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and opened to the public in September 1979. The Kahn Collection attracts a steady stream of international visitors and has served as the basis for innumerable publications and exhibitions.
Major collections include the archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown; Lawrence Halprin; Ian L. McHarg; Edmund N. Bacon; and Paul Philippe Cret.
The Architectural Archives collects the work of several significant European architects. The Freidrich Weinbrenner collection is the most important archive of this architect's work outside of Europe and provided the basis for a major exhibition and scholarly catalogue by Professor David B. Brownlee.
From Britain come the drawings of Robert Adam, Gilbert Blount, William Chambers, James Thomas Knowles, and William Butterfield. From France, the experiments of G. Robert Le Ricolais are represented by an extensive collection of over 100 structural models, calculations, and drawing. A sketch book of 300 drawings by Barthelemy Vignon and student projects by Villain further enrich the collections.
In addition to serving as a study collection, the Architectural Archives initiates travelling exhibitions and collaborates with other institutions and repositories on loan exhibitions. Graduate research assistants in the Archives are offered the opportunity to work closely with collections and researchers in addition to assisting with the organization of two to three exhibitions per year for installation in the Kroiz Gallery.
Hours & Admission
Monday--Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed*
*Open normal hours on the following two Saturdays: Homecoming & Alumni Day. For specific dates, please consult the University of Pennsylvania Academic Calendar.
The Architectural Archives is closed for the following holidays and term breaks: Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday, Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr, Day, and Memorial Day
Access for special exhibitions held in the Archives’ Harvey & Irwin Kroiz Gallery is free and open to all during the above posted hours.
To access the archival collections for research, study, publication and exhibition, you must schedule an appointment with the Archives staff; University of Pennsylvania affiliation is not required.
The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania occupies the lower level of the Fisher Fine Arts Library Building with an independent entrance located just off 34th Street adjacent to a pedestrian crossing at Smith Walk (originally Locust Street). The main entrance is up a short flight of steps and is marked by a plaque that reads “Architectural Archives / Kroiz Gallery.” Once inside the vestibule you’ll need to ring the intercom for entrance. For barrier free access please call the Archives staff at 215-898-8323.
220 South 34th Street at Smith Walk
Lower Level of the Fisher Fine Arts Library building
Philadelphia, PA 19104
102 Meyerson Hall
210 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311
Visitors may find on-street parking in the area or choose to make use of one of the parking garages operated by the University of Pennsylvania. The closest garage is located at 3335 Chestnut Street the access to which is off South 34th Street, between Ludlow and Chestnut Streets.
Driving Directions to the Chestnut and 34th Street Garage are available from Google Maps
Visitor Tips & Policies
Barrier free access to the Kroiz Gallery and to the Architectural Archives is available by special arrangement. Please call 215-898-8323.
Works on view are periodically changed and occasionally the Kroiz Gallery is closed for an exhibition installation or special event.
In order to protect works of art and to create an environment suitable for study, please observe the following Archives policies:
• Please do not touch the works of art or archival materials without the permission of the Archives staff.
• Food and drink are not allowed within the Kroiz Gallery without special authorization.
• Backpacks and large bags must be checked in the Archives office. Smaller bags may be carried.
• Possession of dangerous materials, including firearms, is not permitted.
• Please be mindful of others, including our researchers, when using your cell phone.
• Handheld cameras without flash or tripod may be used in the Kroiz Gallery.
• Photographs cannot be commercially published, sold, reproduced, transferred or distributed.
• All photography in exhibitions of works of art on loan is prohibited.
• The use of pens is prohibited in the Kroiz Gallery and in the Archives’ reading room; only pencils may be used for taking notes or sketching.
• Sketchbooks are not to exceed 18 x 24 inches.