Architectural Archives

Black and gold marble slab
Previously one of the largest producers of marble in the world, The Vermont Marble Company, as a supplier, designer, fabricator, and seller, was a global competitor in the European-dominated world of building and ornamental stonework from the early to mid-20th century.
Image files - Decorated storeforn

Image of decorated storefront at the VSBA office building in Manyunk.  This design is a memorial to the victims of 9/11, from fall 2001.

Like the rest of the world, the Architectural Archives closed to the public last March, and the staff began to work remotely.  By the summer, we were back on site, but only part time and with very limited researcher access.  This has required us to shift the way we work and create new w
Black and white portrait of Minerva Parker Nichols
The Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design has received a $300,000 project grant from The Pew Center for Art & Heritage for their exhibition, What Minerva Built.
Our Days Are Like Full Years Cover
Thursday, October 29th, 2020 6:00pm   Online Free admission; advance registration required Follow this link to register
Bill Whitaker with Sarah Herda (left) and Srdjan Jovanović Weiss (right)

Photo courtesy of Princeton School of Architecture. 

On March 5-6, 2020 Curator Bill Whitaker and Archivist Heather Isbell Schumacher presented at Anne Tyng: Ordered Randomness, an event organized by Women in Design and Architecture at Princeton University’s School of Architecture.
Introductory panel for the Miracles in Concrete Exhibiton
A leading authority on the design of prestressed concrete structures, August E. Komendant played an instrumental role in the creation of a number of the most significant architectural designs of the second half of the twentieth century. His collaborations with architects, Louis I.
A middle aged man in a business suit stands on a rocky shore, looking at the ocean

Photo courtesy Julian Abele, Jr. and Patty Susnitzky

In March of 2021, a group of Abele’s living descendants, including his son, Julian Abele, Jr., and his great grand-niece and -nephew Susan Cook and Peter Cook, joined a virtual panel celebrating the life of their long-overlooked forebear, the first Black student to graduate from Penn’s architecture program.
A modern house set next to a swimming pool with mountains in the distance

Photo Grant Mudford

Barton Myers (MArch’64), the designer of numerous high-profile cultural institutions whose Toro Canyon House (pictured) pioneered the use of industrial off-the-shelf industrial components in residential design, has donated an important collection of records from his early career to Penn. Of the Architectural Archives’ holdings, Myers says, “[They] really give you a chance to see what it was like to be an architect, what forces you’re dealing with, and how one functions in a certain time and context.”
Ink drawing of Philadelphia showing new structures envisioned by Kahn
An effort to create a facsimile reprint of the 1962 publication The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn is being spearheaded by alum Richard Saul Wurman (BArch’58, MArch’59) who played a critical role in the making of the original publication.
Laurie Olin, France Sketchbooks Book Cover
On October 15th, Laurie Olin came to the Architectural Archives to do a virtual launch for his new publication, France Sketchbooks: The Need for Hand Drawing in a Sped-Up Age.  The event was introduced by Weitzman School dean and Paley Professor, Fritz Steiner, and Laurie Olin was j
Portrait of Julia Moore Converse
Julia Moore Converse (1946-2020) came to Penn in 1984 and worked as the curator and later as the Director of the Weitzman School’s Architectural Archives.
Cake with "Design With Nature Now" logo on it
The Lincoln Land Institute of Land Policy has realeased Design With Nature Now, edited by Frederick Steiner, Richard Weller, Karen M’Closkey, and Billy Fleming from the Weitzman School's Landscape Architecture Department, and an essay on Ian McHarg by William Whitaker, Curator of the Arc