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City Architect;
City Architecture, Department of

[Record group 67]
Agency Function
The functions of this agency are currently performed by the Department of Public Property.

Agency History
The Act of 5 August 1870 establishing the Commissioners for the Erection of Public Buildings provided that the Commissioners should appoint a competent architect and assistants. Upon the dissolution of the Commissioners, an ordinance of 26 July 1901 transferred the Architect to the Bureau of City Property effective 1 July 1901. The office of City Architect was created by an Ordinance of 31 December 1919, pursuant to the provision of the City Charter of that year, and assigned the duty of preparing plans and specifications for City structures which had until that time apparently been made both by the City Architect and by architectural firms hired for the purpose on the occasion of each individual building project. The Pennsylvania Assembly, under an Act approved on 1 May 1929, authorized the creation of the Department of City Architecture to replace the Department of City Architect. On 2 November 1929, Mayor Mackey signed a City Council ordinance implementing the creation of the Department, headed by a Director of City Architecture. The Director of City Architecture was ex officio a member of the Art Jury of Philadelphia. The Department had the "care, management, control, inspection and administration of the city's architectural interests." The Department could prepare and/or supervise the preparation of all specifications, drawings and plans of public buildings to be erected in the City. This Department was abolished upon the adoption of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter of 1951 and its functions transferred to the Division of Architecture and Engineering of the then-established Department of Public Property.

Archival Records
67.1 City Architect. Annual Reports (1921, 1922)

67.2 City Architect's Scrapbook (1920-ca. 1939)

67.3 Department of City Architecture. Building Specifications (1949)

67.4 Construction Plans, Philadelphia Municipal (John F. Kennedy) Stadium (June 2, 1925)

67.5 City Hall Drawings and Plans (1920-1951)

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Last updated on November 8, 2000