The Long History Of The American Institute Of Architects

Currently, the American Institute of Architects is headed up by Robert Ivy. Robert Ivy has worked in the architectural profession since the early 80s. He started out working at national architectural publications like Dean/Dale, Dean and Ivy. Robert Ivy also had an illustrious career as an architectural critic.

In 1996, he left that career behind and became Editor in chief at what is now the most popular architectural journal in the world, Architectural Record. After Robert Ivy took over, Architectural Record dozens of Jesse H. Neal Awards, 7 Ozzies, some Folio Design Awards, and a Website of the Year.

If anyone is interested in learning about the American Institute of Architects, they should visit its headquarters in Washington, D.C. For those who can’t or won’t travel that far; the American Institute of Architects was founded in 1857 as the New York Society of Architects.

There were 29 original founding members, but 16 of them didn’t official join until after the organization’s first meeting. With all 29 prominent architects in the same room, they drafted and signed an original version of their constitution on March 10, 1857. Less than a month later, Thomas U. Walter suggested they change the name and the American Institute of Architects was born.

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On April 15, 1857, they all signed the new and final constitution, cementing their claim. When they first met, the original 13 decided their mission was to promote scientific and practical perfections of the profession. They decided this after realizing that anyone could call themselves an architect at this point in history. There were no schools of architecture or any laws regulating architecture back then. At time went on, their mission expanded to including helping one another and creating outreach programs to communicate better with common people and the government.

By the 1880s, there were several American Institute of Architects chapters all over the country; today, there are more than 300 chapters. The current building the American Institute of Architects is headquartered in had quite the struggle to becoming a real building.

First, the building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola in the 1960s during an American Institute of Architects competition, but it didn’t met approval by the United States Commission of Fine Arts. Later, they collaborated with the newly founded The Architects Collaborative (TAC) and designed a new building.

Check more about American Institute of Architects: https://washington.org/meetings/find-dc-listings/american-institute-architects

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