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Library of Congress Acquires Rare Architectural Image Collection

AIA/AAF collection includes 160,000 drawings, 30,000 photographs

Library of Congress Acquires Rare Architectural Image Collection

AIA/AAF collection includes 160,000 drawings, 30,000 photographs

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    Library of Congress

    Monument à la trinité (project). Drawing by architect Richard Morris Hunt, before 1855. Original architectural drawing from Hunt's time in Paris, showing a design for a church or memorial building in the Beaux-Arts style.
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    Union League Club, New York City (project). Drawing by architect Richard Morris Hunt, 1867.
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    Biltmore Estate greenhouses, Asheville, North Carolina. Greenhouses.  Drawing by the office of Richard Morris Hunt architect; Hitchings & Co., horticultural architects.
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    Statue of Liberty framework. Drawing by the office of  engineer Gustav Eiffel, circa 1881. Drawing for the iron framework of the Statue of Liberty sent from the office of the engineer Gustave Eiffel to the office of Richard Morris Hunt, designer of the Statue's pedestal.
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    J. Q. A. Ward houses, 7 & 9 West 49th Street, New York City. Drawing by architect Richard Morris Hunt, 1868. For the famous sculptor, John Quincy Adams Ward.
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    Yorktown Monument (Alliance and Victory Monument), Yorktown, Virginia. Drawing by architect Richard Morris Hunt, 1884.
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    Bandstand. École des Beaux-Arts examination drawing by architectural student Richard Morris Hunt, March 7th, 1849. Original examination drawing for a "concours sur esquisse," at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
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    J. Q. A. Ward houses, 7 & 9 West 49th Street, New York City, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, photograph after 1869.  Shows the architect's design as completed.
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    United States Capitol. Tortola scheme. Competition drawing by architect William Thornton, 1793.
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    United States Capitol. Tortola scheme. Competition rendering of façade. Elevation. Design by William Thornton, 1793.
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    St. Stephen's Church, Cohasset, Massachusetts. Drawing by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, 1899. Goodhue, a master draftsman, was a 1925 winner of the AIA's Gold Medal.
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    Architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith presents a model of her Capitol Park project for Southwest Washington, D.C. Photograph, circa 1960.
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    Notre-Dame, Paris, France. View showing the new spire designed by architect Viollet-le-Duc. Photograph by Charles Marville, circa 1860. The view is towards the Île Saint-Louis.
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    Fountain of the Dragon at the Palace of Versailles, France. In: Vues de Versailles, 1676. Works from multiple sources showing the newly completed palace and its grounds are bound together in this volume, including plates by Israel Sylvestre.
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    Cass Gilbert's annotated copy of The Story of Architecture in America by Thomas E. Tallmadge (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1927). Cass Gilbert, architect of the Woolworth and U. S. Supreme Court buildings, wrote lengthy notes in the margins disagreeing with Tallmadge's statements. Many Cass Gilbert drawings are at the Library of Congress.
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    Cadillac Sales Building, Detroit, Michigan, by architect Albert Kahn. In: Albert Kahn, F.A.I.A., Louis Kahn -- Jesse F. Hirschman Associates, Architects and Engineers, Marquette Building, Detroit. New York: Architectural Catalog Co., 1921. For promotional purposes architects often printed catalogs of their works that now are quite rare.
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    This February 1876 issue of the American Architect and Building News features First Church, Boston, by the architects Ware & Van Brunt. The Library of Congress lacks the early issues of this important architectural periodical.
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    Architect and Engineer of California, 1930. May 1930. Decorative Arts Number.
    Regional magazines such as the Architect and Engineer, published in San Francisco, highlighted the concerns and work of local architects.   The Library of Congress has this publication only on microfilm.

The Library of Congress announced on Tuesday that it has acquired tens of thousands of architectural drawings and photographs—a rare collection maintained by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Architectural Foundation (AAF).

The collection includes 160,000 drawings, 30,000 photographs, and rare books spanning the architectural history of the United States. The materials include technical drawings, sourcebooks, and even original works of art.

Some of the materials will appear in upcoming exhibitions. The National Building Museum—which will serve as the exhibition partner for the AIA/AAF collection—will show two drawings by William Thornton in the museum's upcoming "Unbuilt Washington" exhibition. The drawings, which date from the 1790s, show the "Tortola Scheme" design for the U.S. Capitol. The two Tortola drawings from the AIA/AAF collection join two Tortola drawings already in the collection of the Library of Congress.

Drawings and photographs in the collection will be made available for public use, in time. The Library of Congress will first prepare the archive of architect Richard Morris Hunt, for use by appointment. The Hunt archive includes more than 15,000 student and design drawings.

Other highlights include photographs by the French architectural photographer Charles Marville, drawings by AIA Gold Medal–winners, and Statue of Liberty design drawings by Hunt and Gustave Eiffel.

The Library of Congress prints and photographs division includes more than 14 million photographs and drawings.