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The Architectural Archives
& Kroiz Gallery

Preserving and presenting architecture – in a National Historic Landmark


The Experience

How bombastic-yet logical! In the bowels of architect Frank Furness’s most outrageous work-a structure that looks more like a steamboat than a library-resides an archive celebrating the dynamism of architecture. University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Archives preserves drawings, sketchbooks, models and manuscripts of more than 400 designers who worked over three centuries.

Students or scholars pour over collections at the study tables, and there’s always a special display in the Kroiz Exhibition Gallery. The architects represented are nearly all university-related, which pretty much amounts to a Philadelphia who’s who: Paul Philippe Cret, Frank Miles Day, Wilson Eyre, Cope and Stewardson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mitchell/Giurgola, and Louis I. Kahn. Furness, of course, is a favorite.


Louis I. Kahn was at the pinnacle of his architectural career when he died nearly three decades ago. The Architectural Archives acquired his collection in 1978 and instantly put itself on the map. The Kahn Collection consists of 6,363 drawings, 100 models, photographs, slides, as well as his personal and office files.

Other Information

Open Mon – Fri Tours by prior arrangement Research by Appointment.

Insider Tip

The first woman to receive an architecture degree from Penn matriculated in 1932. Betty Ray Bernheimer was deemed a distraction and was separated from the other (male) students. Thirty years later, Bernheimer designed Penn’s Van Pelt Library. Interesting, how it stands out…

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