A Guide to the M. Rosaria Piomelli Architectural Papers, 1960-1995 Piomelli, M. Rosaria, Architectural Collection Ms1995-007

A Guide to the M. Rosaria Piomelli Architectural Papers, 1960-1995

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1995-007


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

©2011 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
M. Rosaria Piomelli Architectural Collection, 1960-1995
Physical Characteristics
5.5 Cubic Feet 3 boxes; 5 oversize folders
Piomelli, M. Rosaria, b.1937
The majority of the materials are in English, however some of the correspondence is in Italian.
The M. Rosaria Piomelli Architectural Collection consists of architectural drawings, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and files that chronicle the life and career of architect M. Rosaria Piomelli.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: M. Rosaria Piomelli Architectural Collection, Ms1995-007 - Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The M. Rosaria Piomelli Architectural Collection was donated to Special Collections in 1995, 2002, and 2006.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the M. Rosaria Piomelli Architectural Papers commenced and was completed in October 1995 and again in March 2011.

Biographical Information

M. Rosaria Piomelli (born Agrisano) was born in Naples, Italy, on October 24, 1937. She was educated at the Instituto d'Arte (1954, Bachelor of Arts) and Accedemia d'Arte (Master of Arts, 1955) of Naples, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1960, Bachelor of Architecture). Through the 1960s and 1970s she worked at various architects offices in Italy, New York, and the Netherlands, including I. M. Pei and Partners from 1971 to 1974 as a project architect. In 1974 she opened her own office in New York City.

From 1971 to 1976 Piomelli taught at the City College of New York School of Architecture as Adjunct Associate Professor, and from 1974 to 1979 taught at the Pratt Institute, where she served as Chair of the Faculty from 1976 to 1979. In 1979 she returned to CCNY as a Distinguished Professor, and was appointed Dean of the CCNY School of Architecture in 1980, becoming the first woman to hold a deanship of any school of architecture in the United States. She served in this position until 1983. In 1984 she was Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and from 1985 to the present she has had the position of full Professor at CCNY.

Piomelli has spent much of her career promoting the work of women in architecture. In 1974, as director the Equal Opportunity Committee for the American Institute of Architects, she organized an exhibit of women architects' work. This exhibit generated a great amount of interest in the standing of women in the profession. She served as a member of the Board of Advisors for the International Archive of Women in Architecture from 1985 to 1995.

Piomelli earned her professional licensure when she became a registered architect of New York State in 1969. She became a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1970 and served on various AIA committees throughout the 1970s, including Commisioner of the Schools of Architecture Committee of the New York City chapter from 1977 to 1979, and Director of the New York City Executive Committee from 1977 to 1979.

Publications by Piomelli include "Canary Wharf: London in the Third Millenium" in the March 1991 issue of Zodiac and as translator (from English to Italian) for Jan Gehl's Vitta in Citta (1992). Publications about Piomelli include information about her work in Susana Torre's Women in American Architecture (1977) and Insegnare L'Architettura, by M. Vegeto (1994).

Scope and Content

The collection consists of architectural drawings, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and files that chronicle the life and career of architect M. Rosaria Piomelli. The materials particularly focus on her architectural projects, mostly in the New York City area, and her tenure as head of the School of Architecture at the City College of New York from 1980 to 1983. Some of the literature and correspondence is in Italian.


This collection is arranged by subject into series and subseries.

Index Terms


  • Architectural drawing -- 20th century
  • International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA)
  • Women -- History
  • Occupations:

  • Architects
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Architectural drawings

Contents List

Personal Papers, 1960-1995.
  • Curriculum vitae, 1960, 1970, 1985-1995.
    • 1960. 1, Box-Folder folder: 1,
    • 1976. 1, Box-Folder folder: 10,
    • 1985-1995. 1, Box-Folder folder: 31,
  • Photograph, 1970. 1, Box-Folder folder: 5,
Professional Papers, 1963-1995.
  • Clippings featuring Piomelli, 1974-1990.
    • American Collegiate Schools of Architecture Task Force on the Status of Women in Architecture Schools, "Interview with Rosaria Piomelli," [transcript] , 1990. 1, Box-Folder folder: 33,
      Scope and Content

      Interview focuses on the problems women face in academia, and recounts times Piomelli had faced discrimination when she taught at CCNY.

    • The Australian Women's Weekly, P.D. Benson "Women in Architecture, from This to This", July 31, 1974. 1, Box-Folder folder: 9,
      Scope and Content

      Article about the AIA exhibit mounted by Piomelli at the AIA building in New York City.

    • The Campus [undergraduate newspaper of the City College of New York], September 3, 1980. oversize: 5, Folder
      Scope and Content

      Article about Piomelli being named the School of Architecture and Urban Studies first woman dean.

    • Chelsea Clinton News, C. Meinhardt, "A Male-dominating Field Gives Way to Women", April 11, 1974. oversize: 5, Folder
      Scope and Content

      Article features Piomelli and the women in architecture exhibit she organized, "Women in Architecture, An Exhibition of Work by Women."

    • Costruire (No. 73, May 1989), "Non Si Studia Si Abita" Piomelli's work on the Pierson School apartments, 1989. 1, Box-Folder folder: 32,
    • Gannett Westchester Newspaper, "Pierson School Meeting Causes Flap Among Board Members", April 22, 1985. oversize: 5, Folder
      Scope and Content

      Article about the building's development which Piomelli owned and renovated.

    • Interiors, "Four on the Jury," article about the jury for the Third Annual Interiors Awards, of which Piomelli was a member, 1982. 1, Box-Folder folder: 16,
    • Interiors, Maeve Slavin, "Piomelli of City College: Top Teacher Profile", June 1982. 1, Box-Folder folder: 15,
    • New York Times, P. Goldberger, "Women Architects Building Influence in a Profession That is 98.8% Male", May 18, 1974. oversize: 5, Folder
    • New York Times, N. Robertson, "A Female Dean of Architecture Who has Designs on the Future", July 6, 1980. oversize: 5, Folder
  • Correspondence, 1963-1990. 1, Box-Folder folder: 2,
    Scope and Content

    Correspondence relating to Artists Housing Coalition, Curriculum Vitae (c. 1978), artist's certification, Who's Who of American Women, AIA's exhibit on women in architecture, research proposals, tenure for Susana Torre, recommendation requests, curriculum vitae for various people, photocopies of articles, design reviews of several projects. Includes post cards and photographs. Many items in Italian.

  • Correspondence, 1977-1993. 1, Box-Folder folder: 11,
    Scope and Content

    Correspondence relating, but not limited, to faculty review, job notices, the Chancellor Distinguished Lectureship at the University of California at Berkeley, list of projects undertaken in private practice, the Deanship of School of Architecture, conference participation, consulting work for hotel design for JFK airport, requests for letters of recommendations, professional organizations, personal topics, Brooklyn Museum Master Plan Design Competition, grants, and photocopies of newspaper and magazine articles. Some photographs and post cards. Some correspondence in Italian.

  • Interiors Magazine, Editorial Advisory Board, 1983-1984. 1, Box-Folder folder: 25,
  • Poster, Washington University School of Architecture, lecture series. Piomelli listed among speakers, 1977. oversize: 3, Folder
  • Scrapbook of project drawings, photographs, plans, c.1958. 3, Box-Folder folder: 2-3,
  • Symposium, January 28, 1988. 3, Box-Folder folder: 1,
    Scope and Content

    Cassettes. Description on front states: Rosaria Piomelli, Blanche van Ginkel, Professor Rodriguez; Fani Hansen; Professor Bliznakov.

  • Talk at Virginia Tech in conjunction with the IAWA, "Reflections on Practice, Academia, and Community," announcements, 1997. 1, Box-Folder folder: 37,
  • "Women in Architecture, An Exhibition of Work by Women", 1974.
    • Original drawings for exhibition poster (Rolled) (2 sheets), n.d.. 2, box
    • Poster calling for submissions, 1974?. oversize: 5, Folder
    • Poster advertising the "Women in Architecture" exhibit organized by Piomelli, 1974. oversize: 5, Folder
  • Writings, 1981, 1995.
    • IAWA Newsletter, Fall 1995 issue, with an article by Piomelli, "Looking Back from the 10th Anniversary of the IAWA", 1995. 1, Box-Folder folder: 35,
    • Interni 315 LA Rivistia dell'Arredamenta with article by Piomelli, "L'Architetto Ferma Il Loft", 1981. 1, Box-Folder folder: 14,
    • List of published work by Piomelli. 1, Box-Folder folder: 36,
Faculty Papers, 1980-1984.
  • City College of the City University of New York, 1980-1984. 1, Box-Folder folder: 12-13, 1, Box-Folder folder: 19,
  • Curriculum vitae with examples of professional work, teaching, and research activities, 1983. 1, Box-Folder folder: 18,
Project Records, 1965-1991.
  • Drawings, 1980-1991.
    • Academy Hill Development (Hudson, NY): site plan, unit plan, typical cluster plans, section, elevation, n.d.. oversize: 3, Folder
    • Artist Living-Work Quarters (New York, NY): conversion plan, 1980. oversize: 3, Folder
    • Buckle My Shoe (New York, NY): cellar floor plans, first floor plan, general notes, 1991. oversize: 3, Folder
    • Cerami House (12 drawings): site plan & plumbing diagram, floor plans, roof plan & schedules, elevations, bath & kitchen elevations, structural plans (2 sheets), construction details, foundation drawings, floor plans--electrical, floor plans--mechanical, wall section, kitchen flooring & steps details, 1984-1985. oversize: 3, Folder
    • Little Italy Risorgimento, 100 Unit Housing and Public School by Michael Muroff, Rosaria Piomelli, Pratt Institute. Four sheets of floorplans and elevations, n.d.. oversize: 5, Folder
    • Octagon Park, Washington, D.C. Five panels of architectural drawings for a competition to redesign . oversize: 4, Folder
    • Pierson School (Tarrytown, NY) renovation drawings, floor plans, utility and lighting drawings, details, general notes, planting and site plans, 1983-1986, n.d.. oversize: 1, Folder
    • Red Hook Development (New York, NY). Piomelli listed among contributing architects, Sectional Map of New York, "Reclaiming the City's Edge, Comprehensive Waterfront Plan," site plan with photographs, elevation and perspective of the "Gateway from the Waterfront", 1980-1991, n.d.. oversize: 2, Folder
    • Schiff House, Montauk, NY: site plan, 1st and 2nd floor plan, finish & door schedule, floor plans & sections, exterior elevations, interior elevations, foundation & framing plans, framing sections, heating & ventilation system, electrical, 1983. oversize: 3, Folder
    • Tauber Apartment, drawings and photographs, n.d.. 1, Box-Folder folder: 34, oversize: 5, Folder
    • Vyse Avenue Rehabiliation (Bronx, NY): floor plans (typical), cellar floor plan. oversize: 3, Folder
  • Files, 1965-1987.
    • Brown University Science Library, 1965-1973. 1, Box-Folder folder: 38, oversize: 5, Folder
    • Cerami residence (Shelter Island, NY), 1983-1985. 1, Box-Folder folder: 27-30,
    • Oberlin College Library (Oberlin, OH), 1966-1975. 1, Box-Folder folder: 3, oversize: 5, Folder
      Scope and Content

      Items related to the Seeley G. Mudd Learning Center [Library]. Includes numerous photographs of interior views, exterior views, and drawings. This is work that Piomelli did in the office of Warner, Burns, Toan & Lunde, Architects, of New York City.

    • Pierson School (Tarrytown, NY), 1984. 1, Box-Folder folder: 26, oversize: 5, Folder
      Scope and Content

      Building was converted to apartments. Materials present include building permit, newspaper article about school, photographs, and literature about building plans.

    • Raffle International Centre, Singapore. I.M. Pei & Partners, Architects. Twenty-one different floor plans and elevations of the structure, August 9, 1974. 1, Box-Folder folder: 8,
    • Schiff apartment (New York, NY), 1983. 1, Box-Folder folder: 20,
    • Schiff residence (Montauk, NY), 1982-1987. 1, Box-Folder folder: 21-24,
    • St. George Place, Staten Island, NY (designed by I.M. Pei). Piomelli was project architect, 1972. 1, Box-Folder folder: 6-7, oversize: 5, Folder
  • Photographs, 1968.
    • Photographs of work Piomelli did in the office of E.F. Groosman in the Netherlands, 1968. 1, Box-Folder folder: 4,