Skip to main content

Georgia Tech Institutional Drawings Collection

Identifier: DV005

  • Staff Only


This collection contains drawings of buildings (both extant and demolished) and grounds on Georgia Tech's Atlanta campus. There are also a few related off-campus projects.


  • 1909-1996 and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1924 - 1960


General Physical Description note

(approx. 3800 drawings)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


85 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

This collection contains sketches, presentation, and construction drawings, showing existing and demolished buildings at the Georgia Institute of Technology campus. The collection extensively documents design processes and final versions of projects. Most, if not all, of the design work found in this collection is done by Harold Bush-Brown, James “Doc” Gailey, Paul Heffernan, and other architects associated them over the years.

In addition to designs for new construction, the collection also includes designs for proposed buildings that were never built, renovation work to existing buildings, temporary buildings, landscaping and site plans, and Federal Works Agency projects. Of note are alteration and reuse plans for some of the houses still extant on the campus in the 1940s but since razed.

Because the drawings were done mostly before the residence halls received their official names, generic labels were used. North Dorm = Harrison; South Dorm = Howell; Dorm A = Smith; Dorm B = Glenn; Dorm C = Towers.

Although the majority of material in this collection documents projects on Georgia Tech's campus, there are a few related off-campus projects as well. The most notable of these projects is the Naval Air Station in Atlanta, now the DeKalb Peachtree Airport.

Biographical / Historical

When the Georgia School of Technology first opened its doors in 1888, classes were held in two buildings located on nine acres of land in what is now midtown Atlanta. That first year, 129 students enrolled. Enrollment grew to more than 1000 by 1918, and nearly 6000 by the 1944-1945 school year. This type of growth prompted the continual need for more space and additional buildings. By 1960, approximately 65 buildings on 153 acres comprised the Georgia Tech campus which served about 6700 students. In 2008, the Atlanta campus encompassed 400 acres and approximately 150 buildings with a student enrollment of more than 18,000.

The mid-twentieth century was a period of extraordinary campus expansion and building construction. During this time, many of the new campus buildings and renovations of existing buildings were designed by architects who were also professors at Tech’s architecture school—Harold Bush-Brown, James “Doc” Gailey, and Paul Heffernan. Some of their more prominent projects included the Hinman Research Building; Smith, Glenn and Towers dormitories; the old West Stands of Grant Field; the School of Textile Engineering Hightower Building; the Architecture East Building; and the Price Gilbert Library.

James “Doc” Herbert Gailey (1887-1966), a native of Philadelphia, earned his architecture degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1910. He began teaching in Georgia Tech's architecture department in 1912 and by 1925 he was a full professor. With the exception of a thirteen month fellowship to study in Europe during 1923-24, Gailey spent his entire career teaching at Tech. He retired in 1955.

Harold Bush-Brown (1888-1983) was born in Paris to American parents but the family settled in Newburgh, New York. Bush-Brown attended Harvard, where he received an A.B. degree in 1911, and completed the Master of Architecture degree in 1915. In the fall of 1922, following positions in several architectural firms in the Northeast and a stint in the U.S. Navy, Bush-Brown accepted a teaching position in the Department of Architecture at Georgia Tech. In 1925 he became Head of the Department. He held this position until 1949, when the Department of Architecture became the School of Architecture. Bush-Brown served as the first Director of the School until his retirement in May 1956.

Paul Malcolm Heffernan (1909-1987), born in Iowa, attended Iowa State University (then Iowa State College) and completed the B.S. degree in Architectural Engineering in 1929. Returning to Iowa State after two architectural fellowships, Heffernan received an M.S. in Architectural Engineering in 1931. After teaching Freehand Drawing and Elementary Design at Iowa State for two years, Heffernan entered graduate school at Harvard University and received a Master of Architecture degree in 1935.

Following a three year period of study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Heffernan returned to the United States in 1938 and took a position on the faculty of the Department of Architecture at Georgia Tech. He remained at Tech for the rest of his professional life. After Harold Bush-Brown's retirement in 1956, Heffernan became the Director of the School of Architecture, a position he held until his own retirement in 1976.


This collection is arranged in alphabetical order into forty-two series. Some buildings are listed individually as a series, while others are grouped into series by topic or project--such as athletic or military facilities or Federal Works Agency projects.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

Custodial History

These materials were originally collected by the College of Architecture and were stored at the P.M. Heffernan House as part of the COA's Heffernan Design Archives. The collection was transferred to the Georgia Tech Archives as part of the newly formed Georgia Tech Design Archives in 2008.


Accession #2008.032.


This collection may receive additional accessions in the future. These materials will be added to the collection and this finding aid updated as needed.

Related Materials

Materials related to Georgia Tech buildings and campus, including records, architectural drawings, and images, can be found in the Facilities Department collections UA/VUAD/VAUA 316. Additional related materials can be found in the College of Architecture collections UA/VAUA 371.

General Physical Description note

(approx. 3800 drawings)

General note

Many of these drawings have been scanned and can be found online at

Processing Information

Vincent Yee, Kelly Darby, and Mandi D. Johnson processed these architectural drawings in 2010-2011.

Inventory of the Georgia Tech Institutional Drawings Collection, 1909-1996 1924-1960
Vincent Yee, Kelly Darby, and Mandi D. Johnson
Copyright September 2011.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA