A Collection in
Collection Number Ms78-009
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversitySpecial Collections
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, Virginia 24062-9001
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.
Collection is open to research.
Permission to publish material from the Clinton H. Cowgill Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Clinton H. Cowgill Collection, Ms78-009, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
The Clinton H. Cowgill Collection was donated to Newman Library in 1978.
The processing, arrangement and description of the Clinton H. Cowgill Collection took place in January and February 2008.
In 1916, Clinton H. Cowgill (1890-1975) graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Architecture and later received a master's degree from the same institution. In conjunction with an independent practice, Cowgill was in charge of teaching architectural design at Iowa State College for eight years until 1928. Changing universities, Cowgill founded the architectural engineering department at VPI (now Virginia Tech) in 1928 - establishing, at the time, the only architecture program in Virginia. Serving as head of the department for 28 years, Cowgill later became the namesake of the architecture building dedicated in 1960. During his time at Tech, Cowgill designed two houses in Blacksburg which are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides teaching, Cowgill published Architecture Practice and Building for Investment and was highly involved in professional organizations. Cowgill's professional involvement is apparent in his 1950 tenure as the President of the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) and his designation as a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA). Cowgill acted as the editor for the AIA until his retirement in 1961. Clinton H. Cowgill spent his retirement years in La Jolla, California with his wife, Mabel, until his death in 1975.
The materials in the Clinton H. Cowgill collection range from 1916 to 1977 and contain information concerning Mr. Cowgill's association with Virginia Tech (formerly VPI) and its architecture department, the founding of Cowgill Hall, Cowgill's involvement with the American Institute of Architects, the publication of Cowgill's books, and incomplete architectural drawings of a residence. The collection also contains personal documents such as a family tree, condolence letters (after Cowgill's death), and various certificates and accolades. Also included is a humorous scrapbook entitled "Handbook of Architectural Malpractice" which contains an assortment of personal photos and clippings.
Organized by subject, the larger sections include correspondence, photographs, and printed material (both published and non-published works).
Airplane Hanger for VPI; Residence for L. B. Dietrich; Residence for L. C. Beamer; Residence for Miss Hallie Hughes; Residence for Geo Herring; Residence for Reese Bryant; Res. for John Whittemore, Res. for C. A. Montgomery; Residence for H.W. Sanders; Dairy Husbandry Bldg, VPI; Dairy Husbandry Bldg, VPI; University Club (previous listings in Blacksburg, VA); Highway Commission, Ames, Iowa