Douglas Haskell was born in Monastir, Yugoslavia, in 1899, the son of American missionaries to the Balkans. He eventually moved to the United States, where he graduated from Oberlin College in 1923 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Art. Known as the “dean” of architectural editors, Haskell wrote architectural criticism and edited numerous periodicals. He worked for The New Student as an editor from 1923-1927, was on the editorial staff of Creative Art from 1927-1929, was an associate editor for Architectural Record from 1929-1930, was architecture critic for The Nation from 1930-1942, associate editor again of Architectural Record from 1943-1949, and, finally, was editor of Architectural Forum from 1949 until his mandatory retirement in 1964 at the age of sixty-five.
Haskell began his career as one of the few American proponents of modern architecture during the 1920s and was a friend and colleague of Clarence Stein, Henry Wright, Lewis Mumford, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Active in promoting issues related to urban renewal, civic architecture, and historic preservation, Haskell lectured throughout the United States, was adjunct professor at Pratt Institute and Columbia University, and served on countless architectural committees, advisory panels, and juries.
Although Haskell was never an architect, the American Institute of Architects admitted him as a member, and in 1962 he was elected to the College of Fellows. Douglas Haskell died on August 11, 1979.
This collection contains correspondence, memos, articles, speeches, lectures, transcripts, clippings, notes, printed matter, photographs, audiotapes, and memorabilia mainly relating to Haskell's editorship at Architectural Forum and his professional activities. The collection includes items dating from 1866 to 1979, with the majority of materials dating from the period of 1949 to 1964.