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Ain, Gregory (28 March 1908–10 January 1988), architect and educator, was born Gregory Samuel Ain in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Baer Ain, who ran a small business, and Chiah Ain (maiden name unknown); the couple had recently fled Russian Tsarist rule together. In 1911 the family settled in Los Angeles. Ain was raised in Boyle Heights, a dense mixed neighborhood of Eastern European immigrants. His father, a shopkeeper, openly despised capitalism and participated in socialist political groups. In fact, his father's socialist convictions ran so deep that in 1916 he moved the family to Llano del Rio, an experimental collective farming colony in the Antelope Valley of California. The Ains were among the colony's earliest members. Although the family returned to East Los Angeles a year and a half later, the experience contributed decisively to Ain's developing political beliefs and his social conscience. Cooperative housing projects became a consistent area of exploration later, in his architectural practice....

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Bauer, Catherine Krouse (11 May 1905–22 November 1964), housing advocate and urban-planning educator, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the daughter of Jacob Louis Bauer, a highway engineer, and Alberta Louise Krouse, a suffragist. Bauer graduated from Vassar College in 1926, having spent her junior year at Cornell University studying architecture. Following graduation she lived in Paris and wrote about contemporary architecture, including the work of the modernist Le Corbusier. In New York from 1927 to 1930, she held a variety of jobs and began a friendship with the architectural and social critic ...

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Cret, Paul Philippe (23 October 1876–08 September 1945), architect and educator, was born in Lyons, France, the son of Paul Adolphe Cret and Ann Caroline Durand, both possibly employed in the silk industry, although after his father’s death, his mother became a dressmaker. His education began in the office of his uncle, an architect, and was continued at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyons. In 1896 he was awarded the Paris Prize, enabling him to move to Paris to attend the École there and to enroll in the Atelier Pascal. Even in a larger and more competitive venue Cret gained attention, winning the Rougevin Prize in 1901. Cret’s life, however, changed in 1903, when Paul Armon Davis III, himself a former student in the Atelier Pascal, put out a call to University of Pennsylvania alumni pursuing their architectural studies abroad to nominate a candidate for professor of architectural design at the university. The alumni chose Cret, who was at first hired as an assistant professor. Then twenty-seven years of age, Cret could little know the effect that his arrival in the United States would have on the architectural community, both in Philadelphia and in the nation. Soon he was acting as patron, not only for the atelier at the University of Pennsylvania, but also for one held in the evenings under the auspices of the T-Square Club of Philadelphia. Under his direction students from the Philadelphia Atelier excelled in national competitions; beginning in 1911 Cret’s students took the Paris Prize, administered by the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects, for four consecutive years. Theo B. White, one of Cret’s architectural design students, described Cret’s working method: “Cret’s criticism was made largely on rolls of tracing paper spread over the student’s problem, drawing with a soft pencil and with a minimum of talk (quite different from the modern critic)” (White, p. 29)....

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Fry, Joshua (1700–31 May 1754), professor and surveyor, was born in Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England, the son of Joseph Fry. His mother’s name and his parents’ occupations are unknown. He graduated from Wadham College at Oxford University and moved to the colony of Virginia, where the first record of his presence is his service as a vestryman in Essex County. He married Mary Micou Hill; they had five children. Fry became master of the grammar school connected with the College of William and Mary in 1729, and he became a professor of natural philosophy and mathematics at the college in 1731. His Oxford education paved the way for these important positions, since English-educated gentlemen were rare in early eighteenth-century Virginia....

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Walter Gropius Photograph by Arnold Genthe. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G412-T-5409-004).

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Gropius, Walter (18 May 1883–05 July 1969), architect and educator, was born Walter Adolf Georg Gropius in Berlin, Germany, the son of Walter Gropius, an architect, and Manon Scharnweber. His family was long involved in architecture and government service. His father was an adviser for the construction of Berlin’s police headquarters and his great uncle was Martin Gropius, a successful Berlin architect and student of the architectural giant Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Young Gropius apprenticed with Berlin architects Hermann Solf and Franz Wichards in 1903 while they were beginning the Imperial Patent Office Building; he then attended architectural classes in the Technical Universities of Munich and Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1903 and 1905–1907, respectively, with a stint between as a cadet in the Fifteenth Regiment of Hussars....

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Hamlin, Talbot Faulkner (16 June 1889–07 October 1956), architect, professor, and librarian, was born in New York City, the son of Alfred Dwight Foster Hamlin, a professor of architecture at Columbia University, and Minnie Florence Marston. He began his writing career at the age of twelve with a translation from the Latin of Pliny’s letter describing his Laurentine villa. He received a B.A. in classics and English at Amherst College (1910), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. From there he proceeded to Columbia School of Architecture, where he received a B.Arch. in 1914. That same year he began to work as a draughtsman in the New York architectural firm of Murphy and Dana. In 1916 he married Hilda B. Edwards; they had three sons. That year he published his first book, ...

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Moore, Charles Willard (31 October 1925–16 December 1993), architect and educator, was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, the son of Charles Ephraim, a businessman, and his wife Kathryn, a teacher. During his years growing up the family would leave Benton Harbor for annual trips to either Florida or California that would last up to four months. These excursions were invaluable influences as Charles honed an active interest in urban environments and their structures. After graduating from high school in 1942 Moore enrolled in the architecture program at the University of Michigan and earned a bachelor's degree in 1947. By the 1940s the Michigan school had begun to move away from the historicism of the Beaux-Arts, and Moore received instruction in a more technical approach to design focusing on construction technology and specification....

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Scammell, Alexander (27 March 1747–06 October 1781), schoolmaster, military officer, and surveyor, was born in Mendon (now Milford), Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Leslie Scammell, a physician, and Jane Libbey. His parents had emigrated from Portsmouth, England. His father, who died in 1753, had asked the town’s Congregational minister, Amariah Frost, to prepare Alexander for Harvard. Scammell successfully matriculated at Harvard in 1765, where he held the Hollis and Browne scholarships, waited on dining hall tables, and taught school during intersessions but nevertheless found it difficult to finance his education. He briefly left the college during a student protest his junior year but soon thereafter was readmitted. At his graduation in 1769, he delivered a commencement oration in Greek and received an award for scholarly merit. Harvard also awarded him an M.A. three years later....

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Willard, Solomon (26 June 1783–27 February 1861), sculptor, architect, inventor, and educator, was born in Petersham, Massachusetts, the son of William Willard, a carpenter and joiner, and Katherine Wilder. After completing an apprenticeship with his father, Willard left for Boston in 1804 to find work as a carpenter. There he may have studied architectural drawing with ...

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Wurster, William Wilson (20 October 1895–19 September 1973), architect and educator, was born in Stockton, California, the only child of Frederick Wurster, a banker, and Maude Wilson, a homemaker. Wurster's paternal grandparents had come to California over the Isthmus of Panama, and his maternal grandmother arrived after sailing around Cape Horn. Wurster attended the Stockton schools, graduating from high school in 1913. During the summer vacations, he worked in the office of E. B. Brown, a local architect, producing basic drawings and learning the basics of what would become his avocation....