• IdentificationPUBLIC "-//The Art Institute of Chicago::Ryerson and Burnham Archives//TEXT(US::ICA::1998.1::ARTHUR A. CARRARA (1914-1995) PAPERS, 1910-1991 (BULK 1961-1974))//EN" "ica199801.xml"
  • TitleCarrara, Arthur A., (1914-1995) Papers, 1910-1991 (bulk 1961-1974)
  • PublisherRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago,
  • Language
    • English
    • English.
  • Date
    • 1910-1991
    • (bulk 1961-1974)
  • Physical Description
    • 3 linear feet (6 boxes) and 1 portfolio
    • Holograph papers, typescript papers, printed papers, architectural reprographic prints, black and white photographic prints, color photographic prints, ink drawings and graphite drawings.
  • RepositoryRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60603-6110 (312) 443-7292 rbarchives@artic.edu http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
  • AbstractProject files, office files, correspondence, and photographs documenting the working life of Arthur A. Carrara. This collection reflects all sides of Carrara's multi-faceted career as an architect, exhibitor, designer, and lecturer.
  • OriginationCarrara, Arthur A., 1914-1995
  • LocationThe collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

Arthur A. Carrara was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1914 to an immigrant Italian laborer who worked for the firm that supplied terra cotta ornament for the buildings of Louis Sullivan. Carrara grew up in the Lakeview neighborhood on the North side of Chicago, and continued to live there for most of his life. While in high school, one of Carrara's teachers recognized his nascent interest in architecture and accompanied Carrara and several other students to Frank Lloyd Wright's 1930 architectural exhibition and lecture, To the Young Man in Architecture, at The Art Institute of Chicago. In 1931, Carrara graduated from the Smith-Hughes architectural course at Lane Technical High School, and began his study of architecture and engineering at the University of Illinois, from which he graduated in 1937. After college, Carrara worked briefly for Herbert B. Beidler, a Chicago architect, and John S. Van Bergen, formerly a draftsman in Wright's office.

During World War II, Carrara served with a topographic mapping battalion in the southwest Pacific theatre. While researching duplicating techniques for army engineer intelligence, he conceived the idea for the permanent transfer print, which he created several years later. In 1943, while stationed in Australia, he was commissioned by the Australian government to design the Cafe Borranical in Melbourne, a teahouse in which he incorporated his theories of the use of hydraulics and magnetics in architecture. In 1944, he was invited to assist in the organization of the City Planning Commission in the Philippines and in the planning for the rebuilding of Manila and Cebu. In 1947, Carrara was commissioned to design the Centro Escolar University in Manila, which had been destroyed during the war.

Carrara established his own architectural practice in Chicago in 1946 and opened a second office in Buffalo, New York, in the mid 1960s. The work he produced over the course of his career included not only private residences and corporate buildings but exhibition spaces and industrial products. He also exhibited his work in one-man shows and juried exhibitions and presented several lectures. Arthur A. Carrara died in 1995.

This collection documents Carrara's career as an architect, exhibitor, designer, and lecturer. Series I and II contain articles, correspondence, original sketches, photographs, plans and specifications related to his architectural projects and exhibitions. The architectural projects are predominantly single-family residences, though public and commercial building types are also represented. Series III is comprised of typescript and handwritten copies of lectures presented by Carrara, along with related documents. Articles, pamphlets, photographs and other materials related to Carrara's industrial design projects form Series IV. Finally, Series V contains Carrara's awards, office correspondence, printed materials, and writings.

Documents originally housed in albums have been integrated into the following series to facilitate the location of items and to more properly house the documents. Photocopies reproducing the format of the original albums are located in the collection file in the Ryerson and Burnham Archives office.

SERIES I: ARCHITECTURE PROJECTS. Arranged alphabetically by project name. Within each project, materials are separated into subseries--correspondence, drawings and specifications, office papers, photographs, published materials--and within each subseries, items are arranged chronologically.

SERIES II: EXHIBITIONS. Arranged chronologically. Within each exhibition, materials are separated into subseries--correspondence, drawings and specifications, miscellany, and published materials--and within each subseries, items are arranged chronologically. Notes under the exhibition titles indicate those exhibitions that were designed by Carrara and those in which he participated.

SERIES III: LECTURE MATERIALS. Arranged chronologically.

SERIES IV: DESIGN PROJECTS. Arranged chronologically.

SERIES V: OFFICE FILES. Materials are separated into subseries according to subject: awards, correspondence, printed materials, and writings. Within each subseries, items are arranged chronologically.

  • Names
    • Carrara, Arthur A. (Arthur Alfonso), 1914-
    • Carrara, Arthur A. (Arthur Alfonso), 1914---Archives
  • Subject
    • Architects--Illinois--Chicago--Archives
    • Industrial designers--Illinois--Chicago--Archives
    • Architecture, Domestic--Illinois--Chicago--History--Sources
    • Architecture, Domestic--New York (State)--Buffalo--History--Sources
    • Architecture--United States--20th century--Sources
    • Design, Industrial--Illinois--Chicago--History--Sources
    • Design, Industrial--New York (State)--Buffalo--History--Sources
    • Design, Industrial--United States--History--Sources
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--History--Sources
    • Buffalo (N.Y.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--History--Sources












Preliminary and presentation design drawings, design studies, and working drawings by Arthur A. Carrara are held in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture.

The collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchaccess.html

The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Arthur A. Carrara Papers, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

The collection was a gift from Charlotte B. Carrara to the Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 1997.

This collection was processed by Ryerson and Burnham Archives staff in 1998. This finding aid was revised and expanded by Nathaniel Parks in 2003.