The Catholic University of America

Peter Jost Blake Papers

An inventory of the Peter Jost Blake Papers at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


Contact Information:

Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: lib-archives@cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

Search this page:

To search for text within this finding aid press Ctrl+F to open your web browser's search box.

   

Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Blake, Peter Jost (1920-2006)
Title: Peter Jost Blake Papers
Dates: 1949(1979-1984)1987
Extent: 6.25 linear feet, 5 boxes
Abstract: The Blake Papers document his early years as a professor in and later chairman of the then-Department of Architecture and Planning at The Catholic University of America from (DATES). The collection consists mainly of paper records in the form of correspondence; inter-departmental, school, and university documents; conferences and professional organizations Blake attended, was part of, or received information from during this time period; and oversize materials in the form of educational degrees and professional certificates/licenses.
Collection Number: 367
Language: English

Biographical Note

Peter Jost Blach was born in Berlin 1920, but was sent to England in 1933 by his parents (who followed later) after the Nazi regime came to power in Germany. In 1938, Blach began studying at the University of London, and one year later he became a student at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Architecture in London. Blach would immigrate to the United States in 1940 and enroll in the University of Pennsylvania's architecture program. During his time in Philadelphia, he became a protégé of famed American architect Louis Kahn.

In 1944, Blach became a naturalized United States citizen and changed his name to Blake, subsequently enlisting in the U.S. Army and training at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, as an intelligence officer. Blake was sent to Europe and was among the first U.S. troops to enter Berlin following the death of Adolf Hitler. He would remain in the army until 1947, when he returned to New York and was named curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in 1948. The following year, he would earn his bachelors degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute in 1949.

In 1950, Blake would become an associate editor with The Architectural Forum, eventually rising to the level of editor-in-chief before leaving in 1972 for a similar position at Architecture Plus. During these years, Blake would also continue to practice in the field, designing houses and other buildings while also authoring a number of books on architecture and became known as both a practitioner and a critic of Modernism in architecture.

In addition to his professional career, Blake also taught architecture at several colleges and universities, including courses at schools in Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia. In 1975, Blake accepted the position of chairman of the Boston Architectural Center, holding the position until he was offered a professorship in the Department of Architecture and Planning at The Catholic University of America in 1979. Blake would remain at CUA until his retirement in 1991, serving as chairman of the department from 1979 until 1986. During his term as chair and that of his predecessor, Blake oversaw the development of the Summer Institute for Architecture and the Master of Architecture for students with non-architectural degrees, as well as a pre-professional degree program.

Blake would move to Connecticut after his retirement and would continue to write articles and books, in addition to authoring a regular column for both New York magazine and Interior Design, prior to his death in 2006.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

The Blake Papers document his time as a professor in the Department of Architecture and Planning at CUA (1979-1991), with the main focus on his years as chairman from 1979 to 1986. The materials are almost exclusively textual nature, including correspondence; administrative materials within the department, School of Engineering and Architecture, and CUA; materials related to professional organizations and conferences; oversize materials in the form of licenses, certificates, and degrees; and miscellaneous materials.

Series 1 is Administrative (1978-1986), and is divided into three subseries. Subseries 1.1 is material related to the Department of Architecture, including budgets, faculty meeting minutes, faculty correspondence, undergraduate and graduate committee papers, course information, and events related to the department. The material includes correspondence from and to professor and graduate program director Joseph Miller, as well as faculty member Peter Lizon and previous department chairman Forrest Wilson. Subseries 1.2 is related to the School of Engineering and Architecture and includes faculty and executive committee materials, correspondence with the dean and dean search materials. Subseries 1.3 is CUA-related materials, including university memos, Provost John Joseph Murphy memos, and Campus Design Review Committee and Service Center for Diocesan Architecture materials.

Series 2 is Correspondence (1979-1984). This series contains correspondence that Blake listed alphabetically, by date, and in two cases by name, with each letter/date/name receiving its own folder. Much of the correspondence is from or to Blake from colleagues or organizations outside of CUA, though there are some items from or to persons on campus.

Series 3 is Conferences/Organizations/Lectures (1973-1985). The series includes materials from organizations that Blake was part of or had some tangential relation to via his profession. This includes material from the International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA) and American Institute of Architects (AIA). There are also materials from conference attended by Blake, and invitations for Blake to be a speaker at conferences or schools.

Series 4 is Clippings and Miscellaneous (1980-1987). The series includes newspaper clippings of articles written by or about Blake, or articles about or by faculty/students in the Department of Architecture. The series also includes miscellaneous materials, such as a collection of Blake's name tags from various conferences, unidentified photographs and negatives, and a small poster of the Boston Architectural Center signed by muralist Richard Haas.

Series 5 is Oversize Material (1949-1975). This includes Blake's Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Pratt Institute; certificates from the IDCA, AIA, and other organizations; and licenses to practice architecture in Michigan, Tennessee, and New York.

Return to the Table of Contents


Arrangement

The Peter Jost Blake Papers consists of 5 Series:






Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

25 Years or Living Persons.

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The papers were deposited by Adnan Morshed of the Catholic University School of Architecture on July 3, 2013.

Processing Information

Processing and EAD markup completed by Christopher Burroughs October-November 2014.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

CUA School of Architecture and Planning Records

Peter Blake Architectural Records and Papers

Peter Blake architectural records and paper

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Blake, Peter Jost, 1920-2006
Lizon, Peter
Miller, Joseph
Murphy, John Joseph
Wilson, Forrest

Organizations:
American Institute of Architects
Catholic University of America
Catholic University of America. Department of Architecture and Planning
International Design Conference in Aspen

Places:
Washington, D.C.

Subjects:
Architecture
Catholic universities and colleges


Return to the Table of Contents


Bibliography

Blake, Peter J. God's Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of America's Landscape. Austin, TX: Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston, 1964.

Blake, Peter J. No Place Like Utopia: Modern Architecture and the Company We Kept. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

Blake, Peter J. How to Design the Perfect Building. New York: W.W. Norton, Inc., 1997.

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Administrative, 1978-1986 (2 boxes)
The series is divided into three subseries: Department of Architecture, School of Engineering and Architecture, and Catholic University. The first two subseries contain materials pertinent to those organizations, while the third has university-related material that is pertinent to the department and school.
Sub-series 1.1: Department of Architecture, 1978-1986, (2 Boxes)
Box Folder
1 1 Budget, 1979-80
  2 Budget, 1980-1981
  3 Budget, 1981-82
  4 Budget, 1982-83
  5 Budget, 1983-84
  6 Faculty Meetings, 1981-82
  7 Faculty Meetings, 1982-83
  8 Faculty Meetings, 1983-84
  9 Faculty Correspondence/Notes, 1979-83
  10 Faculty Correspondence/Notes, 1980-82
  11 Faculty Correspondence/Notes, 1982-83
  12 Faculty Correspondence/Notes, 1983-84
  13 Faculty Correspondence/Notes, 1984
  14 Lizong, Peter memos, 1979-81
  15 Miller, Joseph memos (1), 1982
  16 Miller, Joseph memos (2), 1982
  17 Wilson, Forrest memos, 1978-79
  18 Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, 1979-82
  19 Graduate Program, 1979-82
  20 Graduate Curriculum Changes - responses 1981
  21 Graduate Committee, 1980-81
  22 Graduate Committee, 1981-82
  23 Faculty Assignments, 1981
  24 Architecture 202 course materials, 1984
  25 Architecture 602 design thesis, 1981
  26 Fourth-Year Studio, 1983-84
  27 Thesis Proposals, 1980-82
  28 Summer Session, 1979-80
  29 Department Course Evaluations, 1980-81
  30 Student Surveys, 1980
  31 Civil Rights Compliance, 1981
  32 NEA Guidelines/other, 1980-82
  33 NEA Grants/other, 1982
  34 School of Design Proposal, 1982
  35 Interior Design Program, 1979-81
  36 Campus School, 1980, 1982
  37 1721 Rhode Island Avenue, 1983-86
  38 St. Patrick's Academy, 1981-82
  39 Smithsonian Resident Associate Program, 1983
  40 Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill Foundation, 1981-82
  41 Dr. Edmund Pellegrino - architecture lunch, 1981
Box Folder
2 1 FDR Memorial Competition, 1981
  2 Foreign Studies Competition, 1981
  3 John Dundin exhibit, n.d.
  4 Architecture Film FEstival, 1934-1971
Sub-series 1.2: School of Engineering and Architecture, 1979-1985, (1 Box)
Box Folder
2 5 Faculty Meetings, 1981-82
  6 Faculty Meetings, 1982-83(1)
  7 Faculty Meetings, 1982-83(2)
  8 Faculty Meetings, 1983-84
  9 Executive Committee, 1981-82
  10 Executive Committee, 1983-84
  11 Three-year budget, 1979
  12 Dean Correspondence, 1983-84
  13 Planning Meeting, 1985
  14 Dean Nomination, 1980
  15 Dean Search, 1981
  16 Graphics Design, 1979-80
Sub-series 1.3: Catholic University of America, 1979-1982, (1 Box)
Box Folder
2 17 CUA/School of Engineering and Architecture memos, 1981-82
  18 Provost John Joseph Murphy memos, 1981-82
  19 Campus Design Review Committee, 1981-82
  20 Service Center for Diocesan Architecture, 1979-1982
                       
Series 2: Correspondence, 1979-84 (2 boxes)
Series 2 includes correspondence that was alphabetized by Blake or, in the case of three folders, was organized by date. The correspondence is mainly with persons or organizations from outside the university.
Box Folder
2 21 A, 1979-81
  22 A, 1983-84(1)
  23 A, 1983-84(2)
  24 B, 1979-80
  25 B, 1983-84
  26 C, 1979-80
  27 C, 1983-84(1)
  28 C, 1983-84(2)
  29 D, 1979-80
  30 D, 1983-84
  31 Davis, Nancy, 1983-84
  32 E, 1979-80
  33 E, 1983-84
  34 F, 1979-80
  35 F, 1983-84(1)
  36 F, 1983-84(2)
  37 G, 1977, 1979-80
  38 G, 1983-84
Box Folder
3 1 H, 1979-80
  2 H, 1983-84(1)
  3 H, 1983-84(2)
  4 I, 1979-80
  5 I, 1982-84
  6 J, 1980-81
  7 J, 1983-84
  8 K, 1979-80
  9 K, 1983-84
  10 Khalili, Nader, 1984
  11 Komai, Ray, 1980-81
  12 L, 1979-80
  13 L, 1983-84(1)
  14 L, 1983-84(2)
  15 M, 1983-84(1)
  16 M, 1983-84(2)
  17 N, 1983-84
  18 O, 1983-84
  19 P, 1983-84(1)
  20 P, 1983-84(2)
  21 Schloss, Sylvia, 1982-83
  22 Schwing, Charles, 1984-85
  23 V, 1980
  24 Wiebenson, John, 1982
  25 October, 1982
  26 November, 1982
  27 December, 1982
  28 Miscellaneous, 1980-81
                       
Series 3: Conferences/Organizations/Lectures, 1973-85 (1 box)
Series 3 includes material on conferences and organizations to which Blake had some connection. In addition, there are lecture requests and material on lectures he delivered.
Box Folder
3 29 International Design Conference in Aspen, 1973-80
        .
  30 International Design Conference in Aspen, 1980-82
  31 International Design Conference in Aspen, 1981
  32 International Design Conference in Aspen, 1982-84
  33 International Design Conference in Aspen, 1985
  34 American Institute of Architects-Atlanta, 1981
  35 American Institute of Architects Jury, April 1981
  36 Architectural Arts of D.C., 1981
  37 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, 1981
  38 International Masonry Institute, 1981
  39 Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, 1982
  40 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 1979
  41 Harvard International Style Conference, 1982
  42 Historic Savannah, 1981
  43 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, 1981
  44 Lecture Requests, 1979-80
  45 Lecture Requests, 1980
  46 Baltimore/Toronto lectures, 1981-82
  47 Venezuela lectures, 1980-82
                       
Series 4: Clippings/Miscellaneous, 1980-87 (1 box)
This series contains newspaper/magazine clipping by or about Blake, or the CUA architecture department, a folder regarding historic preservation of Washington D.C.'s Bond Building, a series of unidentified photographs and negatives, and a folder of miscellaneous items
Box Folder
4 1 Clippings, 1980-82, n.d.
  2 Bond Building, 1981
  3 Negatives and photos, n.d.
  4 Miscellaneous, 1980, 1983, 1985-87
                       
Series 5: Oversize, 1949-75 (1 box)
This series contains degrees, licenses, and certificates awarded to Blake, including his architecture degree from the Pratt Institute.
Box Folder
5 1 American Institute of Architect's certificate, 1958
  2 Pratt Institute Bacherlor of Arts 1949
  3 State of New York architect's license, 1957
  4 American Institute of Architect's Certificate of Fellowship, 1970
  5 State of Tennessee architect's license, 1975
  6 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' License, 1965
    American Institute of Architect's Architecture Critics Medal, 1975
  8 State of Michigan architect's license, 1965
  9 American Institute of Architect's certificate of appreciation, 1958
  10 International Design Conference in Aspen certificate of appreciation, n.d.
  11 American Institute of Architect's New York Chapter citation, 1967
  12 Architectural League of New York's Howard Myers Memorial Award in Architectural Writing, 1958

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Administrative, 1978-1986

Series 2: Correspondence, 1979-84

Series 3: Conferences/Organizations/Lectures, 1973-85

Series 4: Clippings/Miscellaneous, 1980-87

Series 5: Oversize, 1949-75

Search the University Libraries' website