Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture records, bulk 1979-2012

Summary Information

Abstract

The collection documents the events and activities of The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture from the 1980s to the early 2000s. The collection consists of correspondence, board minutes [restricted], administrative and financial records, posters, reports, recordings of lectures and events.

At a Glance

Bib ID 12266076 View CLIO record
Creator(s) The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture
Title The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture records, bulk 1979-2012
Physical Description 24 document boxes
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. Portions of the collection are restricted. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Arrangement

Description

Scope and content

The collection was transferred from The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture to Avery Drawings & Archives in 2014. The collection was organized and described by the Buell Center prior to its transfer. The original description has been maintained. The series groupings were established after the transfer to the archive.

  • Series I: Administrative & Financial Records

    This series is divided into four subseries: Board of Advisors, Administrative, Finances, and Fundraising. The records in each subseries are arranged in loose chronological order by decade.

  • Series II: Early History and Projects

    This series documents the foundation of the center and renovation and dedication of the Arthur Ross Gallery. This series also documents the early projects undertaken at the Buell Center including Philip Johnson interviews, Oral History project, Paul Nelson exhibition, Documents in American Architecture, and Building and the Book. The records date from 1979 to 1990.

  • Series III: Programming

    This series documents the Buell Center's lecture series, lunchtime seminars, symposia, and other small programs from 1985 until 2007. Included are files on the Times Square exhibition and all Dissertation Colloquia (1995-2007).

  • Series IV: Projects and Publications

    The series is divided into four subseries: Events & Projects, American Innovation/Summer Prints, Hstory of History, and MAS Publication. Subseries 1: Events & Projects includes records for smaller projects, publications or events arranged in loose chronological order (1984 to 2012). Subseries 2: American Innovation/Summer contains correspondence, print, and illustrations for Vincent Scully's "Architecture of the American Summer" and the center's "American Architecture: Innovation and Tradition" book. Subseries 3: History of History documents the exhibition and book publication planning for "History of History in American Architecture." Subseries 4: Modern Architecture Symposia (MAS) Publication includes original archival documents (circa 1960s), research, mock-ups, and drafts for the Modern Architecture Symposia publication.

  • Series V: Prizes and Fellowships

    This series includes correspondence, forms, press material and administrative records for fellowship applications and other prizes given by the Buell Center.

  • Series VI: Audio-Visual Material

    This series includes audio cassettes and video recordings of events and interviews from the 1980s until the early 2000s.

Using the Collection

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. Portions of the collection are restricted. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Processing Information

The inventory and historical narrative for the collection was compiled by Buell Center staff prior to the collections transfer to Avery Drawings & Archives in 2014.

The collection was reformated and converted into ArchivesSpace by Avery Archivist Shelley Hayreh in 2020.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Administrative records Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Audiocassettes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Exhibition records Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Financial reccords Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lecture notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts for publication Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Publications (document genre) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Video recordings (physical artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
minutes (administrative records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
symposia (conferences) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Architectural design -- History -- 20th century. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Research Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture, American -- Exhibitions Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Graduate School of Architecture and Planning Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Design -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005 -- Criticism and interpretation. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lambert, Phyllis Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lectures and lecturing -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Martin, Reinhold, 1964- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ockman, Joan Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scully, Vincent, Jr., 1920-2017 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stern, Robert A. M Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 -- Criticism and interpretation. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Planning for a "Study Center for American Architecture" at Columbia University began as early as 1979. Major early proponents included Phyllis Lambert, James Polshek, Edgar Kaufman, Adolf Placzek, Robert AM Stern, Ada Louise Huxtable, Vincent Scully, and IM Pei. Securing funding, space, and an identity distinct from Avery or GSAP [Preservation had yet to be added] were of primary concern.

Members of the Advisory Board searched for donors to supply the $5 million necessary to establish the center. Initial funding was provided by the Kaplan Foundation, Phyllis Lambert, and Columbia alumnus and architect Temple Hoyne Buell. Columbia offered space for the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture in the building known as the Maison Française. The oldest building on Morningside campus, it had housed several departments and organizations over the 20th century, and required extensive renovation.

Robert AM Stern served as the Center's first director, from 1983 to 1988. The Center's inaugural project was American Architecture: Innovation and Tradition, an exhibition showcasing the diversity of America's regional architecture. Stern oversaw symposia on Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, architectural publishing in America, Hispanic traditions in American architecture, and the first "Buell Talks." He secured funding for an oral history project (the Johnson Tapes), and published Vincent Scully's Architecture of the American Summer: The Flowering of the Shingle Style (Rizzoli, 1987). In 1989, philanthropist Arthur Ross donated money for conversion of the building's first floor to exhibition space.

Gwendolyn Wright served as the Center's second director, from 1989 to 1992. Among other projects, she oversaw a symposium about German influences on American architecture and organized the Center's first major seminar series, "History of American Architecture." Lectures from leading architects and historians were published in The History of History in American Schools of Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 1990).

Joan Ockman served as director for over a decade, between 1993 and 2008. Under her directorship, the Buell Center worked to fundraise in support of more substantial projects and fellowships that would further define its identity as a premier institution in American architecture. Ockman's tenure began with a 1994 symposium on Frank Lloyd Wright, and her early directorship was characterized by several lecture and seminar series: "Constructive Criticism" (1995), "Public Space" (1995), "Landscape As Social Space (1996), "Imagining America" (1997), "Culture Is Our Business," (2001) "Out of Ground Zero," (2002) and "Modern Architecture American Modernity" (2004-2005). Her later directorship was characterized by publications, panels, and conferences as opposed to series. Notable publications included Out of Ground Zero: Case Studies in Urban Reinvention (Prestel, 2002), Symbolic Essence and Other Writings on Modern Architecture and American Culture (Yale University Press, 2005), Architourism: Authentic, Escapist, Exotic, Spectacular (Prestel, 2005), and the FORUM series with Princeton Architectural Press.

Reinhold Martin began his directorship in 2008 with the exhibition Utopia's Ghost: Postmodernism Rediscovered. The Center's recent projects, including "Public Housing: A New Conversation" (2009), The Buell Hypothesis, and Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream (2012) have formed part of a larger effort to convene issue-oriented conversations around matters of public concern, such as housing.