This substantial collection includes original and reprographic architectural drawings, project files, photographs, and professional papers related to prominent New York preservation architect Giorgio Cavaglieri’s architectural work, professional associations, and writings. This collection was given to Avery Library in four separate (1975, 1990, 2001, and 2005).
Born in Venice, Italy in 1911, Giorgio Cavaglieri studied at the Superior School of Engineering in Milan, graduating magna cum laude at the age of twenty-two. During the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, Cavaglieri was drafted into the Italian Air Force and completed his first architectural projects designing airfields in Tobruk, Libya. In March of 1939, upon his release from service, Cavaglieri immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland. During World War II, Cavaglieri was drafted into the United States Army and won the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement for his adaptations of captured German barracks for Allied use. After the war, a colleague referred him to New York architect Rosario Candela and Cavaglieri moved to Manhattan and began work under him. In 1946 with the aid of the G.I. Bill, Cavaglieri opened his own private practice.
As early as 1955, Cavaglieri explored the reuse of historic buildings for new purposes beginning when he adapted an old warehouse into offices for a local union. By the mid-1960s, his renovation of the Jefferson Market Courthouse into a public library had attracted the attention of the renowned architecture critic, Ada Louise Huxtable. She later recommended him to Joseph Papp for the renovation of the Astor Library into the New York Shakespeare Public Theater, one of the earliest alterations made to a historic building under the recently passed New York City landmarks law. Among his most noted projects, in addition to the Jefferson Market library and New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, Cavaglieri was responsible for the restoration of the incoming train room at Grand Central Terminal, the preservation of the historic structures on Roosevelt Island, and the restoration of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.