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Building and House History

A guide to finding architectural and other information about Chicago buildings and houses.

Architectural Associations

CHM holds the papers of the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Membership papers may provide information on your architect.

The AIA has created a Historical Directory of American Architects, in which member files of the national organization are digitized.

We hold the papers of the Illinois Society of Architects (ISA). For member architects, the organization often published an informational obituary in the ISA bulletin, F37RE .I3M OVERSIZE.

Chicago Architects Oral History Project

Compiled by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Architects Oral History Project is a series of interviews with Chicago-based architects. Transcripts are available as full-text. Paper copies are available at the Abakanowicz Research Center.

Clipping Files

Along with newspaper articles, our clipping files for architects may contain pamphlets and lists of an architects' works. These files are located in the Abakanowicz Research Center.

Reference Books

  • Withey, Henry F. Biographical Dictionary of American Architects Deceased,  REF. NA737.A3W5.
  • Book of Chicagoans, later Who's Who in Chicago. Published roughly every five years between 1905 and 1950. REF. F548.25. W63.
  • Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. vols. 1-4. 1982. REF qNA40. M25. 1982.
  • AIA Guide to Chicago, Third Edition. REF NA735.C4 A43 2014.

Individual biographies of architects such as Daniel Burnham, David Adler, etc., can be found through searching ARCHIE.