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Department of Architecture

Heads of the department

William R. Ware 1865-1881
Theodore M. Clark 1881-1888
Francis Ward Chandler 1888-1911
Désiré Despradelle 1911
James Knox Taylor 1912-1914
William H. Lawrence 1914-1919
William Emerson 1919-1939
Walter R. MacCornack 1939-1944
William Wurster 1944-1947
Lawrence B. Anderson 1947-1967
Donlyn Lyndon 1968-1975
N. John Habraken 1975-1981
Julian Beinart 1981-1982, Acting Head
John Myer 1982-1987
William L. Porter 1987, Acting Head; 1988-1991, Head
Stanford Anderson 1991-2004
Yung Ho Chang 2005-2010
Nader Tehrani 2010-2014
J. Meejin Yoon 2014-2019
Andrew Scott 2019-, Interim Head

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first professor of architecture was William R. Ware, appointed in the fall of 1865 when MIT first opened. Funds were supplied partly by MIT and partly from private sources for Ware to visit Europe to examine educational programs and purchase supplies. Much of the funding was provided by Ware’s friends in the town of Milton, Mass., in return for an annual scholarship to be awarded by MIT to a graduate of Milton High School.

The course in architecture opened in October 1868, with classes held in the Rogers Building on Boylston Street in Boston, Mass. The program was designed to provide a broad and general education for architects.

In 1883 the department moved into a new building on the corner of Boylston and Clarendon Streets which it shared with the chemistry and physics departments. In 1892 the department moved again into the newly built Architectural Building, designed by department head Francis Ward Chandler, on the corner of Stuart and Clarendon Streets. The building included a laboratory for testing materials as well as a library. In 1898 the department moved again into the Pierce Building at Trinity Place. Crowding was alleviated in 1916 when most of MIT moved to the new campus in Cambridge, Mass., leaving the Rogers Building on Boylston Street to the Department of Architecture.

In 1932 the School of Architecture was established as part of the general academic reorganization of the Institute proposed by President Karl T. Compton. The Department of Architecture remained the only department in the school until joined by City and Regional Planning in 1947.

In 1938 the School and Department of Architecture moved from Boston to Cambridge to rejoin the rest of the campus.

Prepared by the Department of Distinctive Collections, MIT Libraries
December 1995; updated 2005; updated 2020