Huxtable, Ada Louise, 1921-2013

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Ada Louise Huxtable (née Landman; March 14, 1921 – January 7, 2013) was an architecture critic and writer on architecture. Huxtable established architecture and urban design journalism in North America and raised the public’s awareness of the urban environment. In 1970 she was awarded the first ever Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Architecture critic Paul Goldberger, also a Pulitzer Prize-winner (1984) for architectural criticism, said in 1996: "Before Ada Louise Huxtable, architecture was not a part of the public dialogue." "She was a great lover of cities, a great preservationist and the central planet around which every other critic revolved," said architect Robert A. M. Stern, dean of the Yale University School of Architecture.

The concourse in 1962 of Penn Station, two years before demolition. "Not that Penn Station is the Parthenon," Huxtable wrote, "but it might as well be because we can never again afford a nine-acre structure of superbly detailed travertine, any more than we could build one of solid gold. It is a monument to the lost art of magnificent construction, other values aside."

Huxtable was born and died in New York City. She went to Hunter College in 1941 and after her graduation she studied architectural history at New York University 's Institute of Fine Arts. Her father, the physician Michael Landman, was co-author (with his brother, Rabbi Isaac Landman) of the play A Man of Honor. Ada Louise Landman received an A. B. (magna cum laude) from Hunter College, CUNY in 1941.

In 1942, she married industrial designer L. Garth Huxtable, and continued graduate study at New York University from 1942 to 1950. From 1950 to 1951 she spent one year in Italy on a scholarship of the U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission.

She served as Curatorial Assistant for Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York from 1946 to 1950. She received a Fulbright Scholarship, which enabled her to travel in Italy and research Italian architecture and engineering. Given this opportunity, she left MoMa. In 1958, she also received a Guggenheim Fellowship to research the structural and design advances of American architecture. She was a contributing editor to Progressive Architecture and Art in America from 1950 to 1963 before being named the first architecture critic at The New York Times, a post she held from 1963 to 1982. Her architectural writings were about the humanistic meaning and artistic power that also involved her displeasure for projects that were missing civic engagement. She made architecture a more prevalent part of the public dialogue by appearing on the front page of The New York Times. From 1968 to 1971, her public opinion was found so successful that it was commemorated in New Yorker cartoons. She received grants from the Graham Foundation for a number of projects, including the book Will They Ever Finish Bruckner Boulevard?. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1974.

Huxtable was the architecture critic for The Wall Street Journal, a position she held from 1997 until 2012.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Weinberg, Robert Charles, 1902-1974. Professional papers, 1912-1974, 1928-1973 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Records of the New York Institute for the Humanities 1971-1995, (bulk 1980-1984). New York University. Archives
creatorOf University of Virginia. School of Architecture. Miscellaneous papers concering the School of Architecture [manuscript], 1968-1977. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Iota (Radcliffe College). Records of Radcliffe Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1907-1995 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of the New York Institute for the Humanities, Bulk, 1980-1984, 1971-2004 New York University. Archives
referencedIn Ada Louise Huxtable : vertical file. Centre canadien d'architecture, | Canadian Centre for Architecture | CCA
referencedIn Chuck Stone Papers, 1931-2007 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Records of Radcliffe Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1907-1995 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf HUXTABLE, ADA LOUISE. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Frances Bemis Papers MS 16., 1921-1974 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Lucien Goldschmidt, Inc. Records, 1930-1991 (bulk 1937-1986) Grolier Club
creatorOf O'Neal, William B. (William Bainter). Papers of William B. O'Neal [manuscript], ca. 1961-1990. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Haskell, Douglas Putnam, 1899-1979. Douglas Putnam Haskell papers, Series II: Personal correspondence, 1922-1979 (bulk 1940-1970). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Huxtable, Ada Louise. Letter, 1975, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Bemis, Frances, d. 1974. Papers, 1921-1974. Smith College, Neilson Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bemis, Frances, d. 1974 person
associatedWith Haskell, Douglas Putnam, 1899-1979. person
correspondedWith Lucien Goldschmidt, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
associatedWith O'Neal, William B. (William Bainter) person
associatedWith Phi Beta Kappa. Massachusetts Iota (Radcliffe College) corporateBody
associatedWith Rosenthal, A. M. (Abraham Michael), 1922-2006 person
associatedWith Stone, Chuck person
associatedWith University of Virginia. School of Architecture. corporateBody
associatedWith Weinberg, Robert Charles, 1902-1974. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
New York City NY US
Architectural criticism
Architecture Critic


Birth 1921-03-14

Death 2013-01-07






Ark ID: w67t8d99

SNAC ID: 85671659