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History

Explore the history of the architecture and urban planning programs at the University of Michigan.

1876

Courses in architecture are offered at the University of Michigan by William Le Baron Jenney.

1906

Architecture is recognized as a formal course of study when a program is established in the Department of Engineering with Emil Lorch as chair.

1913

The University of Michigan grants the program departmental status and full control of its curriculum.

1923

Eliel Saarinen begins teaching architecture courses at UM.

1931

Architecture is established as a separate college with 370 students and 27 faculty members.

1939

The college's name is changed to the College of Architecture and Design. The program in architecture is expanded to a five-year curriculum. Landscape architecture is added to the college's curriculum.

1946

A graduate program in urban planning, which awarded a master of city planning degree, is introduced, one of the first in the country.

1948

The Architecture Research Laboratory is created, taking a pioneering step in integrating design, construction, technology, planning and research. This is renamed in 1974 to the Architecture and Planning Research Laboratory.

1954

The Arts and Architecture departments are separated due to growth in interest in both areas. The college continues to house both departments.

1967

Architecture degree requirements are revised into a rigorous six-year program.

1968

The department of urban planning is created within the College of Architecture and Design. A university-wide Ph.D. program in urban and regional planning is established in the office of the vice president for academic affairs with faculty from 12 schools and colleges.

1969

Michigan is the first American school to offer a doctorate of architecture degree.

1974

The College of Architecture and Design is reorganized to create the College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the School of Art. The new Art and Architecture Building, housing both entities, opens for classes on UM's North Campus. Robert C. Metcalf named as Dean of the College from 1974 until 1986.

1982

The Ph.D. program in urban, technological, and environmental planning (UTEP) is created. The program is moved from Rackham Graduate School to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1989.

1992

The two individual programs in urban planning and UTEP are merged to form the urban and regional planning program (URP), now under a single chair with a coordinator of doctoral studies.

1999

A. Alfred Taubman donates $30 million to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, one of the largest gifts in the history of the University of Michigan and the largest ever to a school of architecture. The college is renamed to A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

2001

The Master of Urban Design program is created.

2005

The Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development is introduced.

2008

Monica Ponce de Leon is named first female Dean of University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. In addition, she is the first Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning.

2009

The college celebrates its tenth year as Taubman College. The college’s digital fabrication (FABLab) and spatial and numerical data (SANDLab) facilities both receive major updates. ArcStart, a three-week long residential program for high school students, offers its first summer course.

2010

Taubman College is named the number one graduate architecture program in the country by DesignIntelligence. The Research Through Making Program, which provides seed funding for faculty research, opens its first exhibition. The Liberty Research Annex opens in downtown Ann Arbor, providing public exhibition and architectural research space for faculty and student projects.

2013

Taubman’s first class of freshman students begins classes. The Research on the City Program, which provides seed funding for faculty research on urban topics, opens its first exhibition. Taubman College receives a $1.3 million architecture, urbanism, and the humanities grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support interdisciplinary research and programming on the topic of Egalitarianism and the Contemporary Metropolis.

2014

A. Alfred Taubman commits $12.5 million to help fund a renovation project that will provide state-of-the-art facilities for Taubman College. The college opens a space in Midtown Detroit and launches a high school architecture prep program, ArcPrep, to expose Detroit students to architecture, in partnership with Detroit Public Schools.

2015

High school program ArcPrep begins classes and the first cohort graduates in June. Construction begins on the A. Alfred Taubman Wing.

2016

Robert Fishman named interim dean in 2016.


Since the mid-20th century, the college has been headed by Deans Philip N. Youtz (1957–1964), Reginald F. Malcolmson (1964–1974), Robert C. Metcalf (1974–1986), Robert M. Beckley (1987–1997), James C. Snyder (interim 1997–1998), Douglas S. Kelbaugh (1998–2008), Monica Ponce de Leon (2008–2015) and Robert Fishman is currently serving as interim Dean.