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A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (University of Michigan) records, 1876-2011

92 linear feet — 2 oversize boxes — 1 flat file drawer — 343 GB (online) — 1 archived website

The A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (TC; also referred to as Taubman College) was established in 1931 as the College of Architecture. However, courses in architecture have been offered at the University of Michigan since 1876, and a department of architecture, formed in 1913, preceded the creation of the college. Since its formation, TC has offered courses and programs in several areas, including landscape architecture, urban planning, urban design, real estate, and, of course, architecture. The record group includes dean's administrative files and correspondence, other administrator files, meeting minutes, department and program files, materials from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), lectures and other documentation on the Raoul Wallenberg lecture hosted by the college, and several photographs and negatives of the college and TC-related events.

The A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (University of Michigan), records document the teaching of architecture and design at the University of Michigan beginning in 1878. The records include administrative files, correspondence committee minutes, reports, photographs and architectural drawings. The records have been received in a number of separate accessions which may include material that continues or complements record series from a previous accession or may overlap chronologically with previous accessions. This finding aid reflects the intellectual structure of the records by bringing like material together across accessions. As a consequence, in the container listing box numbers will not necessarily be in consecutive order.

The records are organized in the following principal series:

  1. Minutes of Meetings
  2. Dean's Administrative Files
  3. National Architectural Accrediting Board
  4. Miscellaneous (correspondence and select files)
  5. Raoul. G. Wallenberg
  6. Dean's Correspondence
  7. Doctoral Program Files
  8. Topical Files
  9. Administrative Files
  10. Architectural Drawings
  11. Photographs and Negatives
  12. Art and Architecture Building Renovations
  13. Department of Urban Planning
  14. Audio-Visual Material
  15. Articles, Reports and Speeches
  16. Artifacts
  17. Archived School of Architecture Website

Dean's Administrative Files, 1957-2008


The Dean's Administrative Files series (consists largely of subject files maintained by the dean's office and include documentation relating to the administration of the college as well as professional and sometimes personal activities of the deans. The series is organized in subseries corresponding to the tenure of individual deans, although a subseries may include material dating from a previous dean's tenure.


Douglas S. Kelbaugh, 1993-2008


The Kelbaugh subseries of the Dean's Administrative Files, 1993-2008 (bulk 1998-2008) (3 linear feet, 1 oversize box, and 200 MB) continues the series from previous accessions. The records in this series primarily originate from Douglas S. Kelbaugh's tenure as dean, but also include files from Dean Robert M. Beckley, and Interim Dean James Snyder's tenures. Included in the series are files on each of the annual charrettes hosted by TCAUP from 1999 to 2008. The charrettes, which are collaborative design planning sessions, were initiated by Dean Kelbaugh as an effort on the part of the University and TCAUP to help revitalize Detroit. Each year the charrettes focused on a different section of Detroit. The charrettes were held at the UM Detroit Center, which is also well-documented in this series. In addition to hosting the charrettes TCAUP is also involved in other programs at the Detroit Center, and, along with the 17 other units on campus, contributes to the funding of the center.

Another interesting topic covered in the files is the re-location of the Lorch Column. Originally located in the courtyard of Lorch Hall (the original home of the College of Architecture), the column was moved to the front of the Art and Architecture Building on North Campus. The column was restored to its original height using a steel insert, and renamed the Lorch Column in honor of Emil Lorch, founder of the College of Architecture. The dedication of the column in October 2007 consummated the College's centennial, celebrated in 2006. It may also be of interest to note that initially the column was to be re-located along with an entry portal that also stood near Lorch Hall on Central Campus. However, the entry portal was left standing in the lawn just southwest of Lorch Hall. The files included proposals to move both the column and the portal, along with enhanced photographs of proposed sites for the two sculptures. (See also oversize materials relating to the relocation of the column in Box 59).

The files also contain information on A. Alfred Taubman's involvement with and interest in the College of Architecture. A file titled "Taubman Building Project" contains documentation on an attempt to expand and renovate the Art and Architecture Building. This project was to be funded with assistance from Taubman, but prohibitive costs prevented the renovation from moving forward (for further documentation on the renovation project refer to another series in this accession: Art and Architecture Building Renovation). However, Taubman remained in contact with the college, and shortly after the building project fell through, discussion began around the possibility of establishing an endowment for the school. The "Taubman Proposal" file includes correspondence and drafts of proposals regarding the $30 million gift from Taubman to establish the endowment. Following the donation, the College of Architecture and Urban Planning was renamed in Taubman's honor.