Past Field Trips

The Architectural Studies field trip is an opportunity for students to visit sites of national and international significance and to study historic and contemporary architecture first hand in northeastern North America cities.


Fall 2016 Field Trip| October 14-18

‘MAKE NO LITTLE PLANS...’ – Daniel Burnham (1846-1912)

The annual Architectural Studies fieldtrip is open to an delcared major in the program. Space is limited to 16 students and priority will be given to advanced majors.

Please contact Professor Drew Armstrong [cda68@pitt.edu] to express your interest in participating. There is a $200 charge per student that covers the cost of transportation, hotels, and all entrance fees. Checks should be made out to-The University of Ptitsburgh-and dropped off with Professor Armstrong or Corrin Trombley in the main department office, 104 Frick Fine Arts Building.

Download the itinerary here


Fall 2013 Field Trip| October 11-15

Ohio + Indiana
Beaux-Arts | Modernism | Postmodernism | Contemporary

The annual Architectural Studies field trip is open only to declared majors. The objective is to visit major architectural sites in Ohio and Indiana, and to meet with faculty and students at the graduate architecture programs at The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati.

Space is limited to 16 undergraduate students. The cost of the trip is $250.00 per student, which will cover the full cost of transportation in two University of Pittsburgh vans, hotel accommodation for four nights, and all entrance fees. Some meals will also be included.

Checks made out to “The University of Pittsburgh” should be given to Professor Armstrong by Friday, September 6.

Download the itinerary here


Fall 2011: Toledo, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Cranbrook, Oberlin

Friday, October 7 through Tuesday, October 11

In a sequence of exhibitions and numerous recent publications, Detroit has been revealed in the photography of Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre as a city of ruins virtually devoid of human presence, the tragic victim of the very forces that shaped its rise to prominence as the center of the American motor industry in the early twentieth century.

Fischer   Michigan Central Depot 1   Michigan Central Depot 3

The 2011 Architectural Studies field trip sought to explore a different Detroit: a city of contrasting modernities.  Abandonment and renewal – the disenfranchisement of inner-city communities and the potential of art to empower – are nowhere more evident than at the Heidelberg Project, where internationally acclaimed artist Tyree Guyton has spent 25 years transforming the remnants of his neighborhood into a painful statement on the nature of power and promise of hope in modern America.

Heidelberg 1   Heidelberg 2   Heidelberg 3

Within a ten-minute drive of the Heidelberg Project, the forces of mid-century urban renewal and belief that totally planned environments could improve lives and shape communities underlies the immaculately maintained Lafayette Park adjacent to downtown Detroit.  Here, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in collaboration with the urban planner Ludwig Hilberseimer and the landscape architect Alfred Caldwell created one of the great modernist housing projects of the twentieth century, masterminded by the Chicago developer Herbert Greenwald.

Lafayette 1   Lafayette 2

As a theoretical statement, Lafayette Park offers in its subtle planning and uncompromising modernity a counterpoint to Eliel Saarinen’s campus for the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Township. Conceived by the Detroit newspaper magnate George Booth to promote Arts and Crafts values in an era of emergent Fordism, Cranbrook’s integration of architecture, sculpture, and landscape is a gesamtkunstwerk of extraordinary complexity and richness, inspired by a range of currents in early twentieth-century thought including the writings of William Morris and the urban theory of Camillo Sitte.

Cranbrook 1   Cranbrook 2   Cranbrook 3

At the same time that Saarinen explored traditional materials and developed a personal language of form and ornament at Cranbrook, the application of scientific management and mass-production to manufacturing shaped that behemoth of industry, the Ford River Rouge plant in Dearborn.  Open to public tours since its completion in 1928, River Rouge still serves as a showcase for assembly-line production, the scale of which evokes Tony Garnier’s breathtaking vision for a rationally planned Cité Industrielle (1917) of giant manufacturing structures integrated with port and rail facilities.  Before painting his murals at the Detroit Institute of Art, Diego Rivera visited River Rouge in 1932 and strove to capture the polarities of promise and catastrophe that science and industry offered to modern society.

Rivera 1   Rivera 2

Eighteen Architectural Studies majors participated in the trip as well as two graduate students, Jen Donnelly and Don Simpson, and HAA faculty members Mina Rajagopalan and Drew Armstrong. Throughout our voyage, many individuals shared their insights and provided us with access to a range of important sites (in several cases opening

their homes). 

Group 1

Special thanks go out to all of the following:

  • Marion Christiansen of Preservation Wayne
  • Tyree Guyton and Claire Nowak-Boyd of the Heidelberg Project
  • Bob Miske and Neil McEachern at Lafayette Park
  • John Cole of Albert Kahn Associates, Inc.
  • The Detroit Institute of Art
  • Greg Wittkopp, Katharine E. Willman, Bill Massie, Diane Mager, and Cheryl Baxter at the Cranbrook Academy of Art
  • Craig Borum and Kanika Holt at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
  • Architectural Studies alums Robert Bradfield and Lucas Bartosiewicz, now enrolled in the top-ranked M.Arch. program at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Laura Dills at the Palmer House
  • Norman Silk at the Turkel House
  • John Harwood and Stephanie Wiles at Oberlin College

Group 2



  • Toledo Museum of Art – Edward Green and Harry Wachter
  • The Architect’s Dream – Thomas Cole
  • Glass Pavilion – SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa

Toledo 1   Cranbrook Monkey


  • The Heidelberg Project – Tyree Guyton
  • Lafayette Park – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Alfred Caldwell
  • Union Trust / Guardian Building – Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls
  • Fisher Building – Joseph Nathaniel French / Albert Kahn and Associates
  • Cadillac Place – Albert Kahn and Associates
  • Ford River Rouge Plant – Albert Kahn and Associates
  • Detroit Institute of Arts – Paul Cret; Detroit Industry murals – Diego Rivera
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art – Eliel Saarinen
  • Michigan Central Depot – Warren & Wetmore / Reed and Stem
  • Turkel House – Frank Lloyd Wright

Ann Arbor

  • Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning – University of Michigan
  • Palmer House – Frank Lloyd Wright

Palmer 1   Turkel 1

Oberlin College

  • Allen Memorial Art Museum – Cass Gilbert / Venturi and Scott Brown
  • Weltzheimer / Johnson House – Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Oberlin Conservatory of Music – Minoru Yamasaki
  • Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies – William McDonough
  • Bertram and Judith Kohl Building – Westlake Reed Leskosky

Fall 2010: New Haven

From September 16 to 19, ten Architectural Studies seniors and two graduate students in HAA participated in the fall Architectural Studies field trip to New Haven.

On Friday, September 17, they toured Paul Rudolph’s recently refurbished Yale School of Architecture building and met with the school’s Registrar and Admissions Administrator who answered questions about the graduate M.Arch. I program. From there, they moved on to Louis Kahn’s Yale University Art Gallery (1951-53) and the Yale Center for British Art (1969-74), and concluded with a walking tour which took in Gordon Bunshaft’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (1963), Eero Saarinen’s David S. Ingalls Rink (1952-58) and Morse and Stiles Colleges (1961).

On Saturday, September 18, they were warmly received at the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce prior to visiting the city core with landscape architect Channing Harris and architect Wes Wright. In the afternoon, they drove out to Philip Johnson’s Glass House (1949) in New Canaan. Prior to leaving for Hartford on Sunday, Wes Wright gave a tour of the offices of the design firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, known for such signature projects as the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Yale    New Haven    Students 

Glass House

Fall 2009: Washington DC

In September Professors Gretchen Bender, Shannon Ashmore, and Kirk Savage took students to Washington DC. An in depth tour of I.M. Pei's East Wing of the National Gallery was given by their chief architect James Grupe. Other sites visited included the WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, the Capitol Building, the Japanese-American Memorial, and the National Building Museum.

DC   DC    DC

Spring 2009: Charlottesville

In April, majors visited Monticello and the University of Virginia to explore the architecture of Thomas Jefferson.

Charlottesville   Charlottesville   Charlottesville

Fall 2008: New York

In October, 20 majors participated in a field trip to New York City. The trip was organized and led by Professor Drew Armstrong and coincided with the exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Four full days were spent exploring architecture in Manhattan, beginning with the campus of Columbia University and ending at the headquarters of the United Nations. Other highlights included the Guggenheim Museum, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center, and the controversial new Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle that opened earlier in September.

Pitt Majors    NY Field Trip    NY Field Trip

Fall 2006: Chicago

Professors Drew Armstrong and Gretchen Bender led a group of about a dozen students to an intensive three day tour of Chicago architecture. Students toured and studied some 40 major buildings, including architecture by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and various downtown skyscrapers.

      Chicago    Chicago    Chicago


Field Trips


Vienna IFTA

Vienna IFTA