The Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives collects, conserves and promotes the use of architectural records that document the architects and architecture of Carnegie Mellon University, the city of Pittsburgh, and its region. Settlement, industrialization, urbanization, and redevelopment have each left a profound imprint on the regional built environment. Regional architecture bears testimony to the forces that shaped it. But buildings themselves can tell only part of their stories. The particular histories of their conception, design, and construction are contained in the drawings and other documents by which ideas and information have been communicated between clients, architects, and contractors. Such architectural records document an irretrievable past (for buildings demolished or left unbuilt), facilitate the preservation and reuse of extant buildings, and inform our understanding of our surroundings.
The Architecture Archives' collections document thousands of projects and the work of hundreds of designers. Records have been obtained from architects and firms, architects' families, property owners and governments. The Architecture Archives collects preliminary or schematic sketches, construction drawings and blueprints, presentation renderings, files of contracts, specifications and other papers, photographs, and selected architectural models. The Architecture Archives also collects sketchbooks, marketing brochures, and other ephemera.
At the Architecture Archives, records are conserved, stored, cataloged and made available for use by Carnegie Mellon students and faculty, scholarly researchers, and the general public. The Architecture Archives can provide crucial sets of drawings for building rehabilitation projects, and primary research materials for books and dissertations. The collections are also available for public exhibition. The Architecture Archives and its collections and projects are supported by the William Arthur Thomas Memorial Fund and the Lucian Caste Fund.
History of the Architecture Archives
The Architecture Archives was founded in 1984 by Fine Arts Librarian Henry Pisciotta and Professor Richard Cleary as a collaborative project of Carnegie Mellon's University Libraries and School of Architecture. The Architecture Archives was organized around three collections already held by the university: the Henry Hornbostel Collection, the Frederick G. Scheibler, Jr., Collection, and the Peter Berndtson Collection. The University Libraries subsequently assumed sole responsiblity for the Architecture Archives. Martin Aurand was archivist from 1986-2020.
Selected projects since the inception of the Architecture Archives include the following. Some project content can be found under the Projects tab of this web site.
- An Architects’ Travels: Hornbostel in Europe. 2019-. With Francesca Torello.
- Chatham Village Reprographics Project. 2017-2018. With Chatham Village Homes, Inc.
- Imagining the Modern: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Pittsburgh Renaissance. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2019. Book. Project sponsor and contributor; with Rami el Samahy, Chris Grimley, and Michael Kubo.
- Action, Ideas, Architecture: Arthur Lubetz/Front Studio. Heinz Architectural Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. 2017. Exhibition. Project originator and lending institution; with Charles Rosenblum, curator.
- HACLab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern. Heinz Architectural Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. 2016. Exhibition. Project consultant and lending institution; with over,under, curator and architect in residence.
- Pittsburgh Projects (otherwise known as Jaunt Pittsburgh and Cyrca Pittsburgh) . 2014-2015. Mobile application. A joint project with the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture; with over,under, Kelly Hutzel, Rami el Samahy, et al.
- Pittsburgh Architects Design for the Fairs. Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. 2013. Exhibition. Martin Aurand, curator. Presented in association with Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA.
- Postwar Pittsburgh Architecture Bibliography. 2011-. Online bibliography.
- Charette [online journal] Digital Project. 2006. Online collection.
- 100 Years of Student Work: Selections from the Architecture Archives: An Exhibit of Work by Students of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, 1905-2005. Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.2005. Exhibition and online exhibition, Martin Aurand, curator.
- Jill Watson. 2003. Online exhibition.
- Bibliography of Carnegie Mellon Architecture. 2000-. Online bibliography.
- Precedent and Principle: The Architecture of Peter Berndtson and Cornelia Brierly. Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA. 1999. Exhibition, With AIA Pittsburgh, and the Taliesin Fellows; Charles Rosenblum, curator.
- Pittsburgh Architecture: A Guide to Research. 1998-. Print and online publication,
- A Campus Renewed: A Decade of Building at Carnegie Mellon, 1986-1996. Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. 1996. Exhibition. Martin Aurand, curator. With lecture by Peter Bohlin of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, and Michael Dennis of Michael Dennis & Associates.
- Carnegie Mellon Buildings and Campus Plans Database. 1996-. Online database.
- Quick Studies: Sketches and Sketchbooks by Pittsburgh Architects. Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. 1993. Exhibition and catalog. Martin Aurand, curator.
- Architectural Brochures: History, Hype & Graphic Design. Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. 1990. Exhibition and catalog. Martin Aurand, curator.
- House on the Mesa and Other Works, Paul Schweikher, Architect. Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. 1988. Exhibition and catalog. Robert Taylor, curator.
- Three Pittsburgh Architects: Selections from the Carnegie Mellon University Architecture Archives. Pittsburgh, PA. 1985. Exhibition. Richard Cleary and Henry Pisciotta, curators.