Since 1870, the American Institute of Architects Cincinnati Chapter has been dedicated to driving positive change through the power of design. In honor of its 150th anniversary (sesquicentennial), AIA Cincinnati is hosting a series of public workshops, lectures, exhibits, tours, programs, and collaborations throughout 2020 to serve our members and elevate the community conversation around architecture and design. Explore our journey from 1870 to 2020 and beyond below.
Join us in the conversation by attending upcoming lectures, forums and tours on the future of architecture and design in the Queen City and beyond. All are welcome, architects and non-architects alike.
“Justice is Beauty” with Alan Ricks, AIA, Int FRIBA: Founding Principal & Chief Design Officer, MASS. (see details)
“Pocket Parks to Policy: Strategies in Collaborative Practice” with Ceara O’Leary, AIA: Co-Executive Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center (see details)
Today, AIA Cincinnati members represent large and small firms and sole practitioners working in residential, retail, hospitality, healthcare, education, government, cultural institutions, sports, industry, and every other sector of the field. Cincinnati architects continue to work locally, but they are also leading projects across the country, as well as in Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.
On January 10, 1870, architects James K. Wilson, James W. McLaughlin, A.C. Nash, A. Bate, William Stewart, Solomon W. Rogers, and Edwin L. Anderson gathered at Kepler’s for dinner and to discuss forming a Cincinnati chapter of the American Institute of Architects. They were joined by Samuel Hannaford when they met again on January 20 and in early February to prepare a formal request to AIA to establish a chapter.
At their February 14, 1870 meeting, AIA’s national board voted to charter a Cincinnati chapter, becoming the fourth chapter in the country after Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. AIA Cincinnati elected their first board with James K. Wilson as President, James W. McLaughlin as First Vice President, William Walter as Second Vice President, Solomon W. Rogers as Secretary, and Edwin L. Anderson as Treasurer.
The founding members of AIA Cincinnati left a lasting legacy on the built environment. As architects, they designed Plum Street Temple, Cincinnati Art Museum, Music Hall, St. Peter and Chains Cathedral, Campbell County Courthouse in Newport, and St. John German Lutheran Church (now The Transept). As visionaries, they led the way for the field of architecture to professionalize and ensured that generations of architects were supported by an organization dedicated to “promote the artistic, scientific and practical efficiency of the profession.”
Membership in AIA Cincinnati grew, and eventually included women. India Boyer, the first licensed architect in the state of Ohio (1941), became the Cincinnati chapter’s first female member in 1946. Check out a complete list of our chapter presidents from 1870 to 2019.
The Sesquicentennial Celebration would not be possible without the participation of AIA Cincinnati members and the support of our sponsors. Interested in sponsorship? Please inquire for availability and pricing.