|One hundred and twenty-five years ago Andrew Dickson White,
the first president of Cornell University, challenged the Board of Trustees to establish a
new program to provide formal academic training in architecture. White combined a
fascination with architecture with a sense of its importance to cultural history. While
still a young man he had begun collecting architectural books and journals. He offered his
collection, possibly the best in the U.S. at the time, to the University. In return, the
Trustees agreed to found a School of Architecture. Providing the first four-year course in
architecture in an American university, it presented an alternative to apprenticeship
programs or to study in Europe. Charles Babcock was named professor of architecture, the
first such appointment in the country. By 1896 the College of Architecture also offered
classes in drawing, painting, and sculpture, and a department of art was formally added in
1921. A City and Regional Planning program began in 1935, and in 1967 the College of
Architecture, Art, and Planning officially acquired its current name.
From the twenty-one students in the first class to a current enrollment of 550 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, from a faculty of one to a faculty of sixty, the college has grown and prospered. This exhibition honors the faculty and students who have fulfilled Andrew Dickson Whites aspirations. It draws on a wealth of original sources documenting the history of the College, housed in the University Archives. A printed catalog and an electronic version of the exhibit provide an even broader range of documents and images.
The exhibition, catalog, and Web site comprise a fitting tribute to the achievements of
the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. They were sponsored by Lee S Jablin,
Bachelor of Architecture, Class of 1971, on the occasion of his 25th Reunion. We join him
in celebrating the Colleges 125th anniversary.
Painting class. ca. 1915.
Forward to "My Pet Extravagance"
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