AIA Austin History

On February 23, 1857, thirteen architects met in New York City to form what would become the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The group sought to create an architecture organization that would "promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members" and "elevate the standing of the profession." In 1857 the mission statement was modified to read, "The objects of this Institute are to unite in fellowship the Architects of this continent, and to combine their efforts so as to promote the artistic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession." Over time, these precepts have been further refined, but the basic objectives have remained the same.

By the mid-1860's architects from other cities wanted to join the AIA and it was determined that local chapters could be organized. By 1887, AIA chapters had been formed in Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati, Boston, Baltimore, Albany, Rhode Island, San Francisco, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Washington, D.C.

The current Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects was incorporated in 1957. Previous to this, the chapter was part of the Texas Chapter of the AIA formed in 1913, then part of West Texas Chapter centered in San Antonio when the Texas chapter was split into three regional chapters in 1924. Then, in 1938, the Austin area architects requested to separate from the San Antonio group and formed the Central Texas chapter. Today the AIA Austin is the third largest chapter of the national professional association in Texas. AIA Austin provides the architecture community with resources and relationships to make a difference through design by opening doors, providing connections, and keeping their members and the public informed.

source: Texas Archival Resources Online