AIA Western Mountain Region
The six-state American Institute of Architects Western Mountain Region, established in 1959, is comprised of the AIA State Components of Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.
For our general membership, the public, and allied professionals who visit this site and its related links, we hope you find this to be a valuable source of information about WMR and AIA component activities, and a great link to the architectural professionals in your area. Information about the annual Design Awards and Honor Awards are posted here as those materials are developed.
For members of the AIA Western Mountain Region Council, this is your first source of information about regional activities and business. You’ll find leadership lists, the calendar, business reports, lists of regional Fellows, and a brief history of the Region.
Additional reports and documents will be posted on Google Docs, the AIA’s discussion and archiving site. We ask you to download the items you need for business meetings as only limited copies of this information will be provided at the meetings themselves.
HISTORY OF WMR
By Phillip H. Gerou, FAIA
From it’s inception in 1857 until 1892, the American Institute of Architects had no chapters or components located within the Western Mountain Region. In 1892 the Colorado Chapter of the AIA was the fist component to be established within the current boundaries of the Western Mountain Region (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming).
By 1900 there were two fellows from the Colorado Chapter. They were Robert S. Roeschlaub of Denver (elevated to fellowship in 1900 – one of only three that year) and Francis W. Cooper of Pueblo, Colorado, who was automatically made a “fellow” when the Western Association of Architects merged with the AIA in 1889. The only other fellow in the region at the time was J. S. Mathews of Cheyenne who was elevated to fellowship in the WAA in 1886 and, consequently, by the AIA in 1889. For the next forty years, no other WMR member was elevated to fellowship. In 1940, Robert K. Fuller of Denver and Walter Ellsworth Ware of Salt Lake City were elected to the College of Fellows. In the following 15 years, only Burnham Hoyt (1949) of Denver was elevated to Fellowship from the region.
By 1910, the Colorado Chapter had grown to a total of a total of 48 members. In 1913, the states of Wyoming and New Mexico were included as components of the Colorado Chapter and, in 1916, Utah was added. Also in 1916, Nevada was assigned to the existing San Francisco Chapter, a chapter since 1881. At the same time (1916), Arizona was part of the Southern California Chapter. Five years later (1921), Utah established an independent chapter, which included the state of Utah and a number of counties in southern Idaho; the total membership was 15.
Regional Districts appear at least as early as 1922 when, on June 4, at the national Executive Committee meeting, the regions were numbered with Region 8 including Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Alaska. At that time, Colorado was included in Region 6 and New Mexico in Region 9. Five years later, at the national board meeting (30 November 1927), Region 8 was re-designated the Western Mountain District and included all the states from the former Region 8. Colorado was still part of Region 6 and New Mexico remained in Region 9. In 1929, the San Francisco Chapter was renamed the Northern California Chapter but still incorporated all of Nevada.
In 1937, Arizona separated from the Southern California Chapter to establish an independent state organization. Wyoming and New Mexico both separated from the Colorado Chapter in 1947 to form independent state organizations. The Districts/Regions were renamed and reapportioned in July of 1959 forming the current six-state Western Mountain Region.
The WMR has had two national presidents, Raymond J. Ashton, FAIA, of Salt Lake City in 1943 and John D. Anderson, FAIA of Denver in 2001.
Researched and documented by: Phillip H. Gerou, FAIA / Evergreen, Colorado / 1998