Society of Architectural Historians

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The Society of Architectural Historians
Charnley House, the Society headquarters
Established July 31, 1940
Location Chicago
Address 1365 N. Astor Street

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the study and preservation of the built environment worldwide. Based in Chicago in the United States, the Society’s 3,500 members include architectural historians, architects, landscape architects, preservationists, students, professionals in allied fields and the interested public.


The Society, originally named the Society of American Architectural Historians was founded on July 31, 1940, inspired by the work of Harvard University historian Kenneth John Conant. Twenty-five chartering members elected Turpin Bannister the first President, and directed him to edit the Journal of the American Society of Architectural Historians.[1] The name was shortened to its current form a decade later. SAH is currently the largest academic organization in the field of architectural history in the US.[2]

Publications and events[edit]

As part of its mission to "advance knowledge and understanding of the history of architecture, design, landscape, and urbanism worldwide",[1] the Society publishes several works, most noticeably the Buildings of the United States series, as well as a newsletter and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (ISSN 0037-9808). In addition, in association with the University of Virginia, the Society is developing an online encyclopedia of architecture called, Archipedia. At present, Archipedia allows free access to entries on 100 of the most important buildings in each state it covers, and is being expanded; a paysite offers wider coverage.[3]


The Society also gives six awards recognizing new books, new catalogues, and similar new contributions to the study of architectural history. The Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award, established in 1949, goes to a North American scholar for the most distinguished work in architectural history. The Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award awards the best scholarship in the production of materials on an architectural exhibition. The Antoinette Forrester Downing Award goes to a publication's outstanding contributions to the field of architectural preservation. The Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award is for scholarship related to landscape architecture. The Spiro Kostof Book Award recognizes outstanding work on urban design and development history. Finally, the Founders Award is given to the best architectural history article published in the Society journal.[4]

Related organizations[edit]

Similar and historically related organizations are found in Great Britain, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand: the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain; the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (SSAC); and the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Howland, Richard H. (Dec 1982). "In Memoriam Turpin Chambers Bannister 1904-1982". Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 41 (4): 279–280. doi:10.2307/989799. JSTOR 989799. 
  2. ^ Crysler, C. Greig (2003). Writing Spaces: Discourses of Architecture, Urbanism and the Built Environment, 1960-2000. New York: Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0203402685. 
  3. ^ "SAH Archipedia". Society of Architectural Historians, and University of Virginia Press. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Publication Awards". Society of Architectural Historians. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ SAH's mission statement