Something about the Nature of Architecture: The History of the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library


"I've never worked on a building that affected me as much as that one does. I’d like to think that, in spite of everything, it says something about the nature of architecture." 

— Paul Rudolph in Crosbie, Michael J. "Paul Rudolph on Yale's A & A: His First Interview on His Most Famous Work." Architecture: The AIA Journal 77 (November 1988): p. 105

Art & Architecture Building, Library (1960s)

Yale's Robert B. Haas Family Arts library, along with the School of Architecture and the Department of the History of Art, are housed together in the Yale Arts Complex composed of the former Art & Architecture building designed by renowned architect Paul Rudolph in 1958, and the newer addition by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates completed in 2008, the Jeffrey Loria Center. The library and the Art & Architecture building (now Rudolph Hall), have encountered numerous changes over the last 60 years, including a fire, adaptive reuse by students, incomplete renovations, and finally rehabilitation, restoration, and expansion. Though Rudolph's original design has adapted to meet the changing needs of its occupants, the building--and the library--have retained many of his signature touches and the library remains a significant research center for art, art history, architecture and drama studies on Yale's campus and beyond.

November 2023 marks both the 60th anniversary of the Art & Architecture building dedication (November 9, 1963), and the 15th anniversary of the formal opening of the restored A & A and Loria Center (November 8, 2008). 

This online exhibition is a celebration of the architectural history of the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library and the key events and partners who contributed to the impact and evolution of this building and collection. 

Curated by Tess Colwell, Arts Librarian for Research Services, and Bill Richo, Library Services Assistant, at Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library. 

Art and Architecture Building at the corner of Chapel Street and York Street, 1963

Timeline of Rudolph Hall (Art & Architecture Building)

1958, April - Rudolph draws preliminary plans for a new arts building to replace Street Hall (High/Chapel)

1959, May - New site chosen at York/Chapel intersection

1960, May 14 - Yale Corporation approves final Rudolph design

1963, November 9 - Dedication of Art & Architecture building

1963, Fall - Ezra Stoller photographs the building in its original condition

1965, June - Rudolph leaves Yale

1969, June 14 - Fire

1971, Spring - Renovation completed by Orr, de Cossy, Winder and Associates

1975 - Asbestos remediation and renovation by Orr, de Cossy, Winder and Associates

1992 - Arts Area Committee recommends a unified Art Library to the President, chooses site at 194 York Street

2001 - Richard Meier draws plans for a new addition at 194 York St. (never built)

2007– 2008 - Restoration and addition by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates (Arts Library temporarily located at 270 Crown Street)

2008, November 8 - Formal opening of Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library and Jeffrey Loria Center; dedication of Rudolph Hall