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Pietro Belluschi Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: circa 1965

Biographical History

Pietro Belluschi (1899-1994) was an Italian-American architect and a prominent figure in the Modernist movement. Over the course of his career he was involved in the design of more than a thousand buildings in the United States and abroad.

Born in Ancona, Italy, Belluschi was the son of Guido and Camilla (Dogliani) Belluschi. He studied at the University of Rome's School of Engineering, receiving his doctorate in civil engineering in 1922; he later earned a second degree in engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 1923, he served as the inspector of housing development in Rome in his native country. From 1927 to 1942 he was with A.E. Doyle and Associates (Belluschi became a United States citizen in 1929); and from 1951 to 1965 he was Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Belluschi won numerous awards for his work, including the American Institute of Architects' Gold Medal in 1972 and a National Medal of Arts for lifetime achievement in 1991. Buildings he designed or was a design consultant for include the Equitable Building in Portland (1948), the Bennington College Library (1957-1958), the Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan (1963), and the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco (1980). He was also the principal architect of the Juilliard School of Music, including Alice Tully Hall, at Lincoln Center, New York (1969) and was the design consultant on St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco (1971).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Pietro Belluschi Papers is arranged into twelve series. The bulk of the material is in the first two series, Architectural projects (numbered) and Architectural projects (unnumbered). The next nine series are Job specifications, Correspondence, Shop drawings, Photographs, Financial, Published material, Writings, Architectural projects [General], and Miscellaneous.

Although the Job specifications, Correspondence, Shop drawings, and Photographs are physically arranged in separate series, to make it easier to locate all relevant material, items from these series are listed under the relevant project in Architectural projects (numbered) and Architectural projects (unnumbered).

The final series consists of Correspondence-subject files from a separate accession in 1991.

The first two series, Architectural projects (numbered) and Architectural projects (unnumbered) contain material related to specific numbered and unnumbered architectural projects. These include private homes, churches, dormitories, office buildings, public spaces, performance spaces, and other projects. At the end of the unnumbered projects are a number of miscellaneous items, including maps, non-architectural work (e.g. weathervanes, grates), and unidentified buildings,

Job specifications contains specifications for numbered and unnumbered jobs, as well as unidentified and miscellaneous projects.

Correspondence consists of several subseries, largely in original order: there is a section of correspondence relating to numbered and unnumbered architectural projects, a chronological section (1924-1940), an alphabetical section (A-Z) followed by another alphabetical section (A-Z), A. E. Doyle correspondence (1923-1928), a second chronological section (1912-1927), a third alphabetical section, and a final miscellaneous section. There is overlap between the sections; for example, the two chronological sections overlap by three years, both of the first two alphabetical sections contain material pertaining to the American Institute of Architects, and A. E. Doyle material appears in a number of the sections.

Shop drawings consists largely of drawings pertaining to numbered and unnumbered architectural projects. There is also a small amount (10 folders) of general or unidentified drawings.

Photographs consists of photographs of numbered and unnumbered architectural projects. Photographs have been physically co-located in 13 document boxes and 3 oversize boxes, but are listed in the inventory under the appropriate project.

Financial consists of ledger sheets for alterations to the Commonwealth Building. It is unclear why these were filed separately from other project material.

Published material includes articles, case studies, publicity, and other material pertaining to specific architectural jobs as well as to Belluschi in general.

Writings contains articles and papers written by Belluschi, including several pieces on church architecture.

Architectural projects [General] contains material on a range of numbered and unnumbered architectural projects, as well as general categories of work such as "Early west coast work" and "Miscellaneous consulting."

Miscellaneous appears to be mostly memorabilia. It includes awards, some pamphlets relating to Lincoln Center, magazine clippings, etc.

Correspondence-subject files, 1991 accession consists of a second set of files donated later, in original order. Most relates to Belluschi's work in the 1970s and 1980s, including the Kerr-McGee Center in Oklahoma, the Seattle Convention Center, the St. Louis Synagogue, work with Jun & Brannen, and Bellushi's work with various committees and juries.

Arrangement of the Collection

Numbered and unnumbered jobs are stored in the Tube Wall. Refer to the inventory below for specific locations. Renderings and hard back sketches are arranged alphabetically by job type (e.g. Banks, Schools) and within that alphabetically by job name. The last category, Miscellaneous, includes jobs which do not fit into a particular category. Photographs in Drawers are arranged in the same way.

Note that the inventory lists Drawers SD 1 through SD 8. This is incorrect. There are only FIVE SD drawers. Some effort may be needed to locate material in these drawers.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Unprocessed portions of the collection are not available for research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of numerous notable modern architects. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Belluschi, Pietro, 1899-1994.
Doyle, A. E.


Architects -- United States.
Architectural design.
Architectural drawing -- United States -- 20th century.
Architectural firms.
Architectural practice.
Architecture -- Designs and plans.
Architecture -- Details.
Architecture -- Northwestern States.
Architecture -- United States -- 20th century.
Architecture -- United States.
Architecture, American.
Architecture, Domestic -- United States.
Church architecture -- United States.
Italian Americans.
Regionalism in architecture.

Genres and Forms

Architectural drawings (visual works)
Blueprints (reprographic copies)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Pietro Belluschi Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Bulk of collection, gift of Pietro Belluschi or his estate, 1964-1999.

Charles Sprague Lodge drawings, gift of Martha Sprague Hurley, 2010.

Table of Contents

Architectural projects, numbered

Architectural projects, unnumbered

Job specifications


Shop drawings



Published material


Architectural projects [General]


Correspondence-subject files, 1991 accession

Alphabetical index of projects