The Catholic University of America


School of Architecture and Planning
– Since 1911

125 emblem

Historical Highlights

  Crough Hall
  Built as a "temporary" gymnasium in 1918, Crough Hall is now home to the architecture school.

Frederick Vernon Murphy, a faculty of one, began what would become the School of Architecture and Planning in an unused attic space in McMahon Hall. In 1911 Rev. Thomas J. Shahan, worked with Murphy to develop a curriculum of drawing, design, painting, history and construction which would be devoted to a small contingent of students.

World War II reduced the department from 50 to six students, but an influx of returning veterans would force the department to move to the remodeled Navy Barracks. When the barracks were demolished, the department would move to the archbishop’s chancery on Rhode Island Avenue, until the 1980s when University President Rev. William J. Byron, S.J. made available the recently abandoned old gymnasium.

Facing growing needs and increased enrollment, the department worked with University Office of Development to renovate the building. The dedication of the renovated former gymnasium as the Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies on Oct. 19, 1989, brought the history of the architecture program at CUA full circle.

On May 19, 1992, the Board of Trustees voted to separate the program from the School of Engineering and establish the School of Architecture and Planning, effective Sept. 1, 1992.

The school is under the leadership of Dean Randall Ott. It's Fall 2011 combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment is 431.

Anniversary Events

The School of Architecture and Planning celebrated the 125th anniversary of the University in conjunction with its own 100th anniversary.

The celebration consisted of a series of events from Oct. 6 to 8, including an Interdisciplinary Symposium on "Transcending Architecture," a lecture by Juhani Pallasmaa on "The Sacred in Architecture," and a reception in honor of 100 years of architecture at Catholic University.