World War II and Postwar

Gilmore D. Clarke, Dean, 1938 - 1950.

Thomas MacKesey

Gilmore D. Clarke ‘13 became dean in 1938. His tenure was marked by the development of the program in City and Regional Planning. The College also began offering courses in housing and industrial design. The regular undergraduate and graduate courses continued, but the College also instituted two new six-year courses leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Architecture/Master of Landscape Architecture, and Bachelor of Architecture/Master of Fine Arts. Additionally, the College gave an undergraduate Teacher Training degree and a graduate Regional Planning degree.

In 1940 the College enrolled 130 students and had a faculty of twenty. During World War II enrollment declined. Many students and faculty members joined the service; other faculty participated in war-related work, filled in for faculty in other colleges, or taught in the military programs on campus. The College planned accelerated instruction programs and a policy for returning veterans. In 1949 the College registered a total of 248 students, the largest enrollment in its history.

The programs expanded and advanced during the administration of Thomas W. Mackesey who succeeded Clarke in 1950. He brought a number of outstanding faculty members to Cornell, actively developed the graduate component, helped initiate the visiting critic program, and launched interdisciplinary research in housing and urban development through the Center for Housing and Environmental Studies. In 1959 the College moved into its current home in Sibley Hall.

In the 1950s the architecture program defined itself as purely professional, but in the broadest sense. An architect was seen as an artist and an engineer, an administrator, and a coordinator of the work of experts in many fields. The program emphasized the architect’s obligation to society as well as to the client. Enrollment was restricted to sixty students per year in the architecture course, and thirty in the fine arts course.

Student Projects

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