AIA or American Institute of Architects is an association composed of licensed architects in the United States, with a central office in Washington D.C. The organization was established in 1857 by a group of thirteen architects in New York City because there were no licensing laws for individuals who finished architecture at that time in the U.S., so anybody can assert that they are architects.
The original members of the AIA founding group included Leopold Eidlitz, Richard Morris Hunt, Jacob Wrey Mould, Richard M. Upjohn, Charles Babcock, Henry Dudley, Edward Gardiner, Fred A. Petersen, John Welch, Joseph Wells and Henry W. Cleaveland. Richard Upjohn was the first president of AIA. As of February 23, 1857, the group decided to invite 16 more well-known architects to be part of the organization with the inclusion of Calvert Vaux, Alexander Jackson Davis, and Thomas U. Walter.
By March 10, 1857, the constitution and by-laws were drawn for the New York Society of Architects. The group’s name was later changed to American Institute of Architects as suggested by Thomas U. Walter. The certificate of incorporation was filed on April 13, 1857, and two days later on April 15, 1857, the new constitution was signed by the members. Amendment of the constitution was done after a year, and soon architects from other cities were requesting to join the AIA during the 1860s. As the 1880s rolled in chapters have been established St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, Indianapolis, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Albany, Boston, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia. By 2008, the American Institute of Architects has over 300 chapters nationwide.
On February 1, 2011, the AIA assigned FAIA Robert Ivy as its new Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. Having made a name for himself in the architectural industry, Robert Ivy held various positions related to the architect profession, namely: Editorial Director/Vice President of McGraw-Hill Construction, Principal of Ivy Architects, Vice President/Editorial Director for McGraw-Hill Construction, managing partner for Dean/Dale, Dean and Ivy, AIA Board of Directors (1990s).
Ivy received the Crane Award and was recognized as Master Architect by Alpha Rho Chi in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The awards given were acknowledgments of Robert Ivy’s dedication to the architectural profession as he is an advocate on a myriad of significant government, social and environmental concerns that affects the architectural industry.
In his new capacity as AIA President, Ivy will oversee the main office’s operations located in Washington D.C. He would likewise address the concerns of the organization about practice and design. Part of his responsibility would similarly be- to impart the AIA voice to demonstrate the significance of design, along with improving the public’s outlook of the architect profession as a whole.
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