Our Founding Fathers

In 1919, 15 architects from 13 states joined forces to form what would eventually become NCARB. Much like the original 13 colonies, the work of these jurisdictions would lay the framework for our profession. In honor of July Fourth, we thought it fitting to pay tribute to a few of our own founding fathers—the first NCARB presidents.

Emil Lorch, First President
In 1906, Lorch helped form the School of Architecture at the University of Michigan, where he spent most of his career as a professor of architecture—eventually becoming dean in 1931. As chair of the Michigan Board of Architecture in 1919, he attended a meeting about forming an organization that would recommend model law, examination, and education standards for the profession. His peers selected him as chair for this tentative organization and then as its first president the following year. The office of “past president” was added to NCARB’s Executive Committee when he stepped down in 1922 because his colleagues wished to retain his knowledge and input on the Board of Directors during its early years. He left the Board officially in 1924, but remained an active volunteer and attendee of NCARB meetings through the 1930s. Fun fact: He was also a founding member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

Emery Stanford Hall, First Secretary
Hall never served as NCARB president, but the organization wouldn’t exist without him. He organized the meeting in 1919 to discuss forming the organization that would become NCARB. He raised the money necessary to get the organization off the ground—receiving a loan from the Illinois Society of Architects (in which he was serving as chair of at the time) and providing money out his own pocket. He also set up the organization’s first headquarters in his Chicago firm—it remained there until his death in 1939. Fun fact: His granddaughter is the actress Raquel Welch.