January 1930 cover

The Journal

Charette (vols. 1-54, 1920-1974) was the journal of the Pittsburgh Architectural Club; and was later co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Pennsylvania Society of Architects. Over the years, its coverage of architecture extended beyond Pittsburgh to the whole of Pennsylvania, and the Tri-State area of Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia.

Charette featured criticism and commentary on architecture as well as copious information about contemporary architectural projects, and the activities of sponsoring architectural organizations. During the Depression, it was a chatty vehicle for connecting architects and keeping the profession active. After World War II, it grew increasingly professional in content and appearance and expanded to cover the growing architectural scene. During the 1960s it became a vehicle for the writings of James D. Van Trump (1908-1995), Pittsburgh’s premier architectural writer and historian, who was associated with Charette from 1961 to 1971 as assistant editor, editor, and finally as co-publisher in partnership with Van Trump, Ziegler & Shane. Van Trump's numerous articles, when taken together, represent a rich survey of historical and contemporary Pennsylvania architecture.

Archives associated with Charette covering the years 1963-1969 are held by the James D. Van Trump Library and Achives of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.


Charette has been known by the following titles, reflecting changes in sponsors and scope of coverage:

Charette: A Little Journal of Rejuvenation
Charette: Pittsburgh’s Journal of Architecture
Charette: Pittsburgh’s Journal of Architecture & Building
Charette: Tri-State Journal of Architecture & Building
Charette: Pennsylvania Journal of Architecture


Charette was created by the Pittsburgh Architectural Club, but had additional sponsors during various periods:

Pittsburgh Architectural Club: February 1920 to Sept./Oct. 1971
Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects: various years
Pennsylvania Society of Architects: May 1951 to December 1960 and October 1962 to December 1967

Extent and Publishing History

Charette was published more or less consistently for over fifty years in 568 issues (occupying approximately four linear feet), but there were times when publication was suspended:

began v.1 n.1: February 1920
suspended: January 1923 to November 1923
suspended: February 1946 to December 1946
suspended: February 1960 to June 1960
suspended: February 1961 to August 1961
issues not published: August to September 1964
issues not published: November to December 1964
ceased: March/April 1974


Charette was originally published in-house by the Pittsburgh Architectural Club, but was later produced by a series of commercial publishers:

Pittsburgh Architectural Club [Inc.]: February 1920 to December 1947
John J. McKee: January 1948 to December 1959
R. W. Bingham: January 1960 to January 1961
Chatham Associates, Inc. / Thomas E. Morgan: September 1961 to October 1964
Van Trump, Ziegler & Shane, Inc.: January 1965 to Sept./Oct. 1971
Archimedia: Nov./Dec. 1971 to March/April 1974

Martin Aurand, Architecture Librarian and Archivist, ma1f@andrew.cmu.edu

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