Washington, DC—On May 2, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) will celebrate 100 years of protecting the public. To commemorate the nonprofit’s evolution—and the thousands of volunteers who helped pave the way—NCARB launched a Centennial Website and traveling companion exhibit, which will be unveiled to the public at the 2019 AIA Conference on Architecture. In May, NCARB will also invite customers to join the festivities through a Centennial Giveaway on social media.

Founded by architects from 13 licensing boards in 1919, NCARB’s original mission was to set national standards for registration and facilitate licensure between states. While the organization’s programs have evolved over time to keep pace with the needs of its members and the profession, NCARB’s core goal of protecting the public remains the same.

“One hundred years of cooperation and volunteerism is a solid legacy that underscores our role as responsible leaders in the regulation of the profession of architecture,” said NCARB President David L. Hoffman, FAIA, NCARB. “I have been amazed and sincerely appreciate the energy and dedication of NCARB’s volunteers and staff, and am confident in their efforts addressing the significant changes our profession will be experiencing in the coming decades.”

Here’s a look back at key milestones throughout NCARB’s history:

  • 1897: Illinois becomes the first state to regulate the profession of architecture.
  • 1919: 15 architects from 13 states discuss forming an organization to set standards for registration and facilitate licensure between states.
  • 1921: NCARB’s first licensing exam is administered to 19 architects.
  • 1938: The first NCARB Certificate is issued to Illinois architect Nelson Spencer.
  • 1940: NCARB helps form the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to handle the accreditation of architecture programs.
  • 1965: NCARB provides a national seven-part examination to its Member Boards.
  • 1977: NCARB introduces the Intern-Architect Development Program (IDP), which would later become the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP™).
  • 1983: NCARB launches the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).
  • 1994: Member Boards approve a Mutual Recognition Agreement with Canada.
  • 2015: The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) enables students to complete experience and examination requirements in school.
  • 2019: NCARB celebrates 100 years of facilitating licensure.

To learn more about NCARB’s Centennial Celebration and the evolution of architectural licensure, visit www.ncarb.org/centennial.

Photo credit: 52nd annual convention of the American Institute of Architects, 1919. Courtesy of the Tennessee Historical Society and the Tennessee State Library and Archives.