Mar 7th, 2017
New! UCFA’s Utah Architects Project, an online archive of the lives and work of Utah architects beginning in 1847, now includes a growing number architects from the mid- to late-20th century. You’ll not only discover new architect profiles, but for the first time you’ll find photos of the architects, design descriptions, maps showing building locations, and biographical narratives.
The new postings include designers who created many of the now iconic mid-century buildings of Utah, including Neil Astle, William Browning, James Christopher, George Daniels, Ralph Edwards, and E. Joe Ruben. You will find that with these profiles, we step into firm practice, that is, the same buildings may be attributed to more than one person within a firm, as with Ralph Edwards and George Daniels. Design collaboration makes determining authorship impossible and unnecessary. Others profiled shaped the development of important Utah institutions such as Neal Stowe, who directed the Division of Facilities Construction and Management, and David Hayes who designed and oversaw the architectural development of many structures at Salt Lake City International Airport. To see one of these new profiles, go to www.utahcfa.org/search and enter the name of the architect.
You will find only two women architects in the profiles–Julia Morgan (1872-1957) and Anna Campbell Bliss (1925-2015). Julia Morgan was a celebrated California architect who designed the original YWCA building in Salt Lake City in 1919, and Anna Campbell Bliss was a renowned fine artist in Utah whose career began as an architect in Minnesota. Women architects have risen to outstanding influence and prominence in the late 20th century and will be included as the researcher moves forward in time. We are focusing first on architects who were influential earlier in the 1950-present continuum and who are also either retired or deceased.
Why is this collection important? Architecture houses our lives, it surrounds us on our city streets, and it affects us profoundly whether we think about it or not. The best of architectural work truly is art, and we acknowledge its cultural importance when we take visitors to our favorite places. The Utah Architects Project gives us insight into the evolution of architectural design in our state and a window into the cultural trends of the times. We hope it stimulates conversations about the art of architecture and the influence of design then and now.
The Utah Architects Project is the result of a close collaboration between the Utah Center for Architecture and the University of Utah, specifically the American West Center and Special Collections of the J.W. Marriott Library. Graduate student researcher Chelsey Zamir is compiling the post-1949 materials with the guidance of American West Center director and historian, Dr. Gregory Smoak. Ms. Zamir cites all sources, allowing others to verify and research further. The UAP is copyrighted by UCFA and permanently archived with the University of Utah as a significant historical record.
None of this could happen without the financial support of many individuals and firms. Please donate to the Utah Center for Architecture so that the important documentation of the Utah Architects Project may continue.