Collection Type:

1917 to 1958

Shear was a Carnegie Tech alumnus who went on to become head of the Department of Architecture at Carnegie Tech from 1948-1955, and subsequently editor of Architectural Record magazine. He was an accomplished architect, academic, editor, and a leader in the profession.

Scope and Content: 

Architectural drawings, correspondence, and other records document Shear's career. Records from Shear's architectural practice include renderings and photographs of residential projects, including the Fowler House (1948, with John Pekruhn), and the "General Electric Company Wonder Home" of 1953. Records from Shear's days at Architectural Record document a fiery correspondence with Frank Lloyd Wright, with two original letters signed by Wright. The exchange resulted from an August 1955 Architectural Record editorial by Shear, who took issue with Wright's testimony before Congress during hearings about the modernist architectural plans for the new U.S. Air Force Academy. Wright had been critical of the Academy's architects and the architectural profession as a whole, which Shear contested on behalf of the profession. Wright responded to the editorial with a short contentious letter, which Shear countered, and Wright countered again. The letters shed light on an important controversy of the time and are revealing in the vehemence of their prose. The Shear Collection also includes essays on architectural education, which Shear wrote for Architectural Record while still at Carnegie Tech, and signed letters from Walter Gropius and Paul Rudolph.

Select Bibliography: 

Alofsin, Anthony, ed. Frank Lloyd Wright: An Index To the Taliesin Correspondence. New York: Garland, 1988.