Leonard J. Currie: An Exhibition of His Photographs
Tatum, Steven E.
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This document includes the labels and panels of an exhibition about Currie's career that was displayed in the Virginia Tech Art and Architecture Library during the 2020-2021 academic year. The photos are from his slide collection. Leonard J. Currie (1913-1996) was an architect, administrator, and educator. He studied architecture at Harvard with Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer during their first year of teaching together. In 1941 he participated in the reconstruction of the Maya ruins at Copán in Honduras and remained engaged with Latin America for the rest of his life. In 1951 he accepted the position as founding director of the Inter-American Housing Center (CINVA) in Bogotá, an Organization of American States program to alleviate a housing crisis for the poor in Latin America. From 1956 to 1962, Currie served as head of the Virginia Tech architecture department in Blacksburg, Virginia. He built several houses in Blacksburg, including the award-winning Currie House for his own family. In 1962 he moved to Chicago to become founding dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) new College of Architecture and Art. At the time, UIC was transitioning from a two-year campus on Navy Pier to a four-year university at the new Chicago Circle campus designed by SOM. Currie retired from UIC in 1981. He returned to Blacksburg, where he set up a private architectural practice to design houses, churches, and business buildings. He served architectural needs of the poor through Habitat for Humanity and his pro-bono architecture clinic.