George B. Ford (1879-1930)


Ford, George B. (George Burdett)

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    b. 24 June 1879 – d. 13 August 1930
Occupation:    American architect and city planner
Location:    New York, NY

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1911-1921; 1926-decease

Biographical Sources

Biographical Directories:
Entry in Henry F. Withey, A.I.A., and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: New Age Publishing Company, 1956. Facsimile edition, Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970)

Biographical Information:
Contributed by Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard Graduate School of Design: George B. Ford was educated at Harvard College (A.B. 1899), acquired additonal degrees at MIT (S.B. 1900, M.S. 1901), and also studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He joined the New York firm of George S. Post in 1907 and for the next decade worked as an architect, consulting engineer, and planning consultant on a broad range of projects. In 1917 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the American Red Cross in France and was an influential figure in the reconstruction effort in post-World War I France; he was concurrently active in planning efforts and professional organizations in the United States and internationally. During the 1920s Ford was consultant to the Russell Sage Foundation in its development of the Regional Plan of New York, served as an advisor to numerous municipal and regional governing bodies and was the founder of the journal City Planning. Ford was the author of hundreds of professional reports, as well as several books, including Out of the Ruins (1919) and Urbanisme en Pratique (1920).

Related Records

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file contains correspondence about dues, resignation, and reinstatement, and obituaries. His membership application is not in the AIA Archives.
      As chairman of the Committee on Town Planning of the American Institute of Architects, Ford compiled a comprehensive report on planning efforts in over 200 U.S. cities, published by the AIA in 1917 as City Planning Progress in the United States, 1917 (available online through the Hathi Trust https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000341823).

Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard Graduate School of Design
      The George B. Ford Collection, 1896-ca.1930
      The Ford Collection includes drawings, plans, substantial correspondence files, numerous reports and studies (in both preliminary and final formats), and a particularly significant collection of photographs, manuscript materials, clippings, and ephemera relating to war damage and reconstruction in eastern France. A substantial portion of the Ford Collection was originally part of the Harriet B. Ford Collection at Smith College. Theses materials were transferred to the GSD through the courtesy of the Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College Library.
Gift of Mrs. Harriet B. Ford, 1990