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School of Architecture and Planning Records

 Collection
Identifier: U004

The University of Denver, Denver, Colorado supported its School of Architecture and Planning from 1946-1952. A combined venture of the College of Arts and Science, the College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering, the School offered a 5-year bachelor degree with minors in Architecture, Physical Planning, Architectural Construction and Interior Design. Professor Carl Feiss was the first director.

By 1952, the School had not applied for accreditation and had competition from the newly opened School of Architecture at the University of Colorado. The University of Denver school closed at the end of the academic year in 1952, having graduated less than 100 students.

The records contain brochures, bulletins, correspondence, reports, course descriptions, lists of applicants and degree candidates, meeting minutes and memos from the Architectural Advisory Committee, and material on the formation and closing of the School from 1946 to 1952.

Dates

  • 1946-1953

Creator

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet (1 legal document box)

Scope and Contents

The University of Denver School of Architecture and Planning Records contain brochures, bulletins, correspondence, reports, course descriptions, lists of applicants and degree candidates, meeting minutes and memos from the Architectural Advisory Committee, and material on the formation and closing of the School from 1946-1953.

Biographical / Historical

On June 17, 1946, Caleb F. Gates, Chancellor of the University of Denver, sent a memorandum to the Board of Trustees, recommending that a School of Architecture and Planning be established in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Denver, to be located on the Civic Center Campus. Provisions for additional drafting space were made in Rodney Curtis Hall, in the Monroe Hotel located at 230 15th Street, Denver, Colorado, and in the workshop of Clayton Plumbing Company.

The justification advanced for the establishment of such a school was the lack of any school of architecture between Lincoln, Nebraska and the West Coast. Further, such a school at the University of Denver could draw upon its existing faculty.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences would be combined with the School of Business Administration and the School of Engineering to serve in this capacity. Accrediting requirements were explored in some detail in 1951, but the decision for accreditation was postponed for one year. A Bachelor's Degree in Architecture and Planning in the College of Arts and Sciences was proposed. The 1947 to 1950 brochures outlined a 5-year basic curriculum. After two years of operation, the director submitted a revision for the last three years of the training program and submitted it to Dean James E. Perdue on January 30, 1948. The revision was a rearrangement of the sequence of courses. Relationships of additional curricular studies in other areas of the University were stipulated for Engineering, Business Administration and Law, Arts and Sciences and the Library.

The Director of the School was Professor Carl Feiss and Leonard Currie was temporarily designated as Assistant to the Director and Assistant Professor. Joseph Shelley was designated as instructor. The 1949 correspondence names Carl Feiss as Director. In the 1950 Report, Professor Vance Kirkland is listed as Director (administration only). Others listed are: Eugene Steinberg, Associate Professor; Howard Miller, Assistant Professor; and Victor Horbein, Instructor.

A Professional Advisory Committee of eight men was appointed. The initial recommendation to the Board of Trustees outlined a tentative basic curriculum of three quarters and a recommended budget. Members of the Advisory Committee consisted of practicing architects, planners and the builders. They were: Paul Atchison, Alan Fisher, Burnham Hoyt, Irvin McCrary, G. Meredith Musick, Thomas Moore, Earl Morris and Lyle Webber.

The graduation of June 10, 1952 had 16 students who had been cleared for the Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Architecture. Seven students were granted a Bachelor of Architecture and Planning.

The December 17, 1951 report by J. M. Shelley states that the basic aims of the school had still not been accomplished. He believed that outside subsidy was justified; that private practice by members should be approved; and he emphasized the need for a full-time permanent Director.

In 1952, the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Denver was discontinued, the probable cause being competition from the newly established School of Architecture in the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado. The University of Denver, a private school and dependent upon outside subsidies, apparently felt it could not successfully compete with a large state-supported program. Furthermore, two schools of architecture, so close geographically, were not warranted.

Arrangement

The records are partially arranged.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer from the School of Architecture and Planning.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

General

The materials in file folders 1-10 as they were arranged in 1966 have been microfilmed, a copy is available both in the University of Denver Archives and in the Carl Feiss Papers at Cornell University. A calendar listing individual items in folders 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 is available in the University of Denver Archives office.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428