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History of the American Institute of Architects

On February 23, 1857, 13 architects met in Richard Upjohn’s office to form what would become the American Institute of Architects. The group sought to create an architecture organization that would “promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members” and “elevate the standing of the profession.” Read a brief history of the AIA or explore more books and articles on the AIA’s history.

AIA Presidents
Richard Upjohn, FAIA, was the AIA’s first president. He served from 1857 to 1876. He is also one of the founders of the AIA. His business location was in New York City. See all AIA presidents

AIA Historical Directory of American Architects
Locate information sources about 19th- and 20th-century U.S. architects in the AIA Archives and elsewhere, through the AIA Historical Directory of American Architects. An article that tells more about what’s in the AIA Historical Directory of American Architects, “AIA Resources for Researching Mid-Century Architects,” appeared in the June 2010 issue of Preservation Architect, newsletter of the AIA Historic Resources Committee.

AIA Issues Database Project
Track the issues raised at the annual AIA conventions from 1867 to the current era in the AIA Issues Database.

AIA Convention Locations
See where conventions have been held

AIA Honors and Awards

From the earliest Gold Medal to the latest Thomas Jefferson Award, the archival records of the AIA’s national awards programs document the recipients and reflect how architects looked at themselves and their practice during different eras. See the Gold Medal recipients and Architecture Firm Award recipients

AIA Archives
The AIA Archives holds the records of the AIA national component’s activities from 1857 to the present.


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