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Collection Summary

Biographical Sketch of Charles Willard Moore

Scope and Content of the collection


Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

University of Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive

The Charles W. Moore Archives

Collection Summary

Creator: Moore, Charles W., 1925-1993
Title: The Charles W. Moore Archives
Dates: 1950-1992, undated
Abstract: Charles Willard Moore (1925-1993) was an architect, educator, author, and traveler. His academic posts include serving as Dean, Chairman, and faculty member at six different universities, including the University of California at Berkeley, Yale University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Moore completed 180 commissions, and served as principal architect in firms in California, Connecticut, and Texas. Throughout his career, Moore established firms across the country, developing collaborative relationships within and between practices, often involving students from his academic positions in his architectural work. The collection consists of records created or maintained by Charles Willard Moore over his career and document his blend of architectural practice, educational engagement, and authorship.
Identification CWM
Quantity: approximately 180 linear feet of manuscript material, 8,500 drawings, 85,000 slides
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical Sketch of Charles Willard Moore

Charles Willard Moore, renowned architect, author of numerous articles and books, award-winning architectural educator, and avid traveler was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1925. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1947), and Master of Fine Art and Doctoral Degrees from Princeton University by 1957.

Moore opened his first firm in 1962. A collaborative practice, MLTW took it's name from the four partners: Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon, William Turnbull, Jr. and Richard Whitaker. The firm joined with architects Al Boeke, Joseph Esherick, and landscape architect/planner Lawrence Halprin, among others, in the design of Sea Ranch, a site-specific residential community in Northern California. When Moore moved across the country to accept a position at Yale University, he opened a New Haven MLTW/Moore, Turnbull office. By 1970, the firm became Charles W. Moore Associates and in 1974, it was renamed Moore Grover Harper to include partners William Grover and Robert Harper. Moore Grover Harper became Centerbrook Architects and Planners, relocating to Essex, Connecticut. Charles Moore moved back to California in 1975, where he worked with Urban Innovations Group (UIG), a practice created to involve students in design, development, and construction of architectural projects. Students teamed with with practicing architects on significant projects, including Piazza d'Italia, a public plaza in New Orleans that became an iconic example of post-modern architecture. Moore opened a second firm in California, Moore Ruble Yudell with John Ruble and Buzz Yudell in 1977. His final architectural practice was the result of his work with Arthur Andersson in Austin, Texas, which led to Moore/Andersson Architects. Throughout his career, Moore established firms across the country, developing collaborative relationships within and between practices, often involving students from his academic positions in his architectural work. He professional life was a blend of architectural practice, educational engagement, and authorship.

Charles Moore taught at six universities while simultaneously maintaining his architectural practice and writing. He began his teaching career at the University of Utah in 1950, when the architecture program was in its founding stages. He left in 1954 to enter the PhD program in architecture at Princeton. After his graduation in 1957, Moore spent a year there as a teaching assistant before moving to the University of California, Berkeley, where he was appointed Associate Professor. He served as Architecture Department Chairman at University of California, Berkeley from 1962 until his departure in 1965. From 1965 to 1970, Moore served as Chairman, and then Dean, of the Architecture Department at Yale University. In 1967, he created the Yale Building Project, an ethically-minded construction project for first-year graduate students. He stayed on as a professor once his term as Dean ended, until 1975, when he accepted a faculty position at the University of California, Los Angeles that included joining Urban Innovations Group (UIG), a teaching practice at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Planning. In 1985, Moore took on his final teaching position as the the O'Neil Ford Chair of Architecture, at the University of Texas at Austin.

Writing was a significant part of Moore's contribution to architecture. He authored numerous books, articles, and essays, often collaborating with other architects and scholars. Some of his notable publications include: The Place of Houses (1974), with Gerald Allen and Donlyn Lyndon; Body, Memory, and Architecture (1977), with Kent Bloomer; Dimensions: Space, shape & scale in architecture (1976), with Gerald Allen; Los Angeles: The City Observed (1984), with Regula Campbell and Peter Becker; The Poetics of Gardens (1988), with William Mitchell and William Turnbull, Jr.; Chambers for a Memory Palace (1994), with Donlyn Lyndon; and Water and Architecture (1994) as well as essays, such as "You Have to Pay for the Public Life."

An avid traveler, Moore documented his extensive travels through painting, photography, and collecting folk art and toys. He was awarded the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for the scope and importance of his contributions to architecture. Charles Moore died in Austin, Texas, on December 16th, 1993.

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Scope and Content of the collection

The Charles Moore Archives consists of records created or collected by Charles Willard Moore over his career as an architect, educator, and author. The collection is organized into seven groups, or series: Personal papers, Professional papers, Faculty papers, Office records, Project records, Reference Materials, and Art and Artifacts. See series below for details and links to finding aids, as they become available. Contact archives staff for more information.

Personal papers

The Personal papers series contains biographical records, correspondence, his student work, photographs of friends and family, family papers, financial records, and travel documentation.

Professional papers

The Professional papers series includes records related to Moore's professional career, but outside his architectural practice. Types of records include correspondence, consulting documents, research and reference files related to architectural topics but not directly associated with his projects, and committee/jury participation materials. Charles Moore's professional writings make up a significant portion of the series. The series is currently being processed and a working arrangement of the records follows:

  • Correspondence
  • Writings
  • Lectures
  • Interviews and Media Projects
  • Exhibits
  • Associations, Committees, and Juries
  • Consulting
  • Awards
  • Research Notes

Faculty papers, 1950-1992

Faculty papers include administrative records, correspondence, course materials, students' work, reference and research materials, and letters of recommendation. The materials that make up the Faculty papers span Moore's academic life, dating from 1950 to 1992, with the bulk of the records dating from 1965 to 1990. These documents address aspects of Moore's academic career at Princeton University (1957); University of Utah (1950-1957); University of California, Berkeley (1957-1965) and University of California, Los Angeles (1975-1988); Yale University (1965-1975); and University of Texas at Austin (1985-1993). The records provide extensive insight into the design and teaching philosophies of one of the most prominent architects of the twentieth century. The Faculty papers are arranged in eight series, primarily by Moore's academic appointments:

  • University of Utah, 1949-1952
  • Princeton University, 1956-1959, undated
  • University of California, Berkeley, 1957-1965
  • Yale University, 1959-1984, undated
  • University of California, Los Angeles, 1975-1989, undated
  • University of Texas at Austin, 1983-1993, undated
  • Research and Reference Notes, 1956-1992, undated
  • Letters of Recommendation, 1950-1992, undated

Office records

The Office records series contains records specifically related to the firm operation of Charles Moore's architectural practices, including his state registrations and licenses, public relations materials, financial ledgers and documents, project submissions, photographs of built work, and business cards.

Project records, 1965-1992

Project records consist of documents related to the planning, designing, and construction of Charles Moore's architectural projects. Project files and drawings are organized alphabetically either by project name or client name. Project file include correspondence, notes, specifications, reports, and photographs. Drawings include both original works (such as pencil on trace paper, or ink on tracing cloth) as well as copies (such as sepia prints, blue line prints, etc.).

  • Project files
  • Drawings

Reference Materials

The Reference materials series contains items created or collected by Charles Moore for multiple purposes throughout his career. Published materials, photographic documentation, and assembled subject files reflect Moore's professional interests. The Charles Moore Library is housed off-site at the Charles Moore House in Austin, Texas. It contains over 4,300 architectural monographs, exhibition catalogs, and works of fiction that formed the architect and educator's personal library. Approximately 85,220 photographic slides make up the Charles Moore slide collection. The bulk of the slide collection consists of photographic slides from Moore's extensive travels and are arranged geographically. Other slides document topical interests, such as the work of other architects, or his own projects, publications, and lectures. Moore's reference files contains clippings and notes on architectural subjects.

Art and Artifacts

The Art and Artifacts series contains creative works by Charles Moore, as well as artwork and craft items collected throughout his career.

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Policies Governing Use and Access

This collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using archival materials. As all or portions of this collection may be housed off-site, advance notice of at least three working days is required for retrieval. Certain items may require additional time for flattening or humidifying before they can be viewed. Access is by appointment only. Please contact the archives' reference staff for further information.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasions of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person).

The Alexander Architectural Archives operate in accordance with applicable federal or state laws and regulations, providing unrestricted access to university records not covered by state and federal right to privacy acts.

The Alexander Architectural Archives, The University of Texas Libraries, and The University of Texas at Austin, assume no responsibility for infringement of literary property rights and copyright or for liability to any person for defamation or invasion of privacy that results from a researcher's use of collections.

Researchers agree to indemnify and hold harmless The University of Texas at Austin, and their officers, employees, and agents from and against all suits, claims, actions, and expenses arising out of use of collections held by the libraries. Please alert staff if anything inappropriate is found during research.

Copyright interests in this collection may not have been transferred to the University of Texas. Researchers assume full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply. Additionally, the public use of material must be cited. See citation information below.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in The University of Texas Online Catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings
Creators (persons):
Moore, Charles W., 1925-1993
Architectural education
Architectural theory
Architecture, Postmodern
Document types:
Architectural drawings
Project files
Professional papers
Manuscripts for publication
Faculty papers
Slides (photographs)
Research notes
Reference sources

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Related Material

The Charles Moore: Project records are located at the Alexander Architectural Archives.

The Charles Moore: Faculty papers are located at the Alexander Architectural Archives.

University of Texas at Austin. School of Architecture collection at the Alexander Architectural Archives.

University of Texas at Austin. School of Architecture Development Records at the Alexander Architectural Archives.

Charles Willard Moore papers, 1915-1985, (bulk 1960-1985), Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Guide to the Centerbrook Architects and Planners Records (MS 1844). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

Moore, Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, Santa Monica, California.

William Turnbull/ MLTW collection. University of California Berkeley, Environmental Design Archives.


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Administrative Information


Charles W. Moore Archives, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

Processing is not completed. Collection contains unprocessed oversized flat material. Please see Archive's staff for more information.

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