Archival Collections
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Joint Advisory Committee on Planning and Development of the United Nations Headquarters Records, 1934-1948 bulk 1946-1947 

Creator: 
Adams, Frederick J., 1901-
Phys. Desc: 
1.1 linear feet of papers : (1.1 linear feet of papers : 3 manuscript boxes,)
Location: 
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
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Online information

Biographical Note

In early 1946, the Preparatory Commission of United Nations determined that the international headquarters of the new organization, established a year before, should be located in the United States. Initiated by the American Institute of Architects and joined by the American Institute of Planners, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, representatives from these four technical societies established a joint advisory committee to offer professional advice to the United Nations Headquarters Commission. New York-based architect Eric Gugler was appointed chairman of the Joint Advisory Committee and the first meeting was held at the Harvard Club in New York City on March 2, 1946. From March 1946 through early 1947, the Joint Advisory Committee participated actively in various phases of the Union Nations Headquarters project, from selection of the site, to preparation of a planning requirement, to call for an international competition, to early stage of design. On December 12, 1946, the United Nations Headquarters Commission voted to accept a tract of Manhattan real estate overlooking the East River, donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for the final headquarters site. On January 6, 1947, New York architect Wallace K. Harrison was appointed Director of Planning for the United Nations' Permanent Headquarters, assisted by an international team of architects and engineers. However, without any formal authority, the influence of the Joint Advisory Committee was minor and, having fulfilled its mission, the committee was officially discharged in January 1948. On September 14, 1948, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new headquarters complex.