UVU Architecture Program Receives Rare and Valuable Book Donation – Making it One of the Largest Collections in the U.S.

By Rachael Freeman

 

The Architecture program at UVU is the recipient of 5,000 architecture books – including rare, valuable, and historical records. Prominent architect, Allan Greenberg donated his collection of books and artwork to UVU’s Architecture program – a collection that spans more than 60 years in the making. Many of the books date back 150 to 200 years and the collection is valued at more than $300,000.

 

UVU’s architecture program, established in 2019, had relatively few books prior to this donation. Given the rarity, value, and size of this collection, UVU now houses one of the largest architecture archives in the nation, which is key to the future growth of the program.

 

“An important, key component for any architecture program is to have a major library and seemingly overnight, we went from 700 books to 5,000, which is one of the largest collections in the United States,” said Architecture Professor and Program Coordinator David Barker.

 

Included in this collection are six original pieces of artwork that Greenberg designed for Ronald and Nancy Reagan for a room in the White House called the Trellis Room. Other works include detailed sketches of the Arc de Triomphe that was commissioned by Napoleon in Paris, France. Understandably, this collection has garnered the attention of other Universities and professionals in Utah and beyond.

 

“This library is a game changer. Not only to help the students and faculty, but it also brings international recognition to our college,” said Barker.

Allan Greenberg, who donated the collection, is a well-known and respected figure in the field of architecture. He is known for being at the forefront of classical architecture in the U.S. and established his firm in New York and Virginia in 1972. Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic, Paul Goldberger said of him, “Allan Greenberg has worked to make classicism meaningful in our time, and he has succeeded.”

 

UVU’s connection with Greenberg started with an affiliation with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA). The ICAA have supported the program at UVU and assisted in finding qualified faculty members.

 

“They have brought in some amazing talent in the last couple years and that's how Allan Greenberg was able to learn of UVU through our partnership, the ICAA, and that's really where this credit goes for this Library collection,” said Assistant Professor of Architecture Brandon Ro.

A significant challenge was transporting the collection from Virginia to Utah. Local architecture firms and professionals, interested in viewing the collection, donated $18,000 toward the safe packaging and delivery of the books and artwork.

 

Current and future architecture students will use the collection to conduct research before design projects. This will become part of the curriculum and will ground the students work in history and precedent and allow them to use real-world examples to inform their design.

 

The collection is currently located in the Computer Science Building on campus. UVU is working to build 30 bookshelves and partnering with the UVU library to preserve and create a searchable online repository. “Our hope is, overtime, we will begin to digitize some of the main books in there so we can make them accessible to the world audience,” Barker said.

 

Acknowledgements:

The College of Engineering & Technology is grateful to Stefan Harlan for raising the funds to transport the collection from Virginia to Utah.