Leonard and Virginia Currie collection

 An inventory of the collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Summary Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Currie, Leonard J. (Leonard James), 1913-
Currie, Virginia
Leonard and Virginia Currie collection
Date [inclusive]
4.25 Linear feet
The Leonard and Virginia Currie Collection consists of photographs, correspondence, pamphlets, and other materials mostly related to urban renewal on Chicago's Near West Side.

Preferred Citation

Leonard and Virginia Currie collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

Return to Table of Contents »

Biography of

Leonard James Currie was born on July 28, 1913 in Stavely, Alberta to Andrew and Florence (McIntyre) Currie. Leonard married Virginia M. Herz on February 8, 1937; they had three children: Barbara E., Robert G., and Elizabeth A. Leonard Currie received a B. Arch. from the University of Minnesota in 1936 and an M.Arch. from Harvard University in 1938. He apprenticed with Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, 1938-1940, and was a Wheelwright traveling fellow, 1940-1941.

Leonard Currie joined the Carnegie Institute's archaeological expedition to Copan, Honduras in 1941 and assisted Pan Am Airways and the U.S. Government in the construction of airport facilities in Guatemala and Nicaragua, 1941-1942. He served as an officer in the United States Army, 1942-1945, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. His academic career was furthered with the post of Asst. Prof. of Architecture at Harvard University, 1946-1951. Currie provided technical assistance to the U.S. Government and other institutions in Costa Rica, 1951, and served as director of the Inter-Am Housing Center in Colombia, 1951-1956. Returning to the United States in 1956, he chaired the architecture department at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Currie then became the Dean of the College of Architecture and Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 1962-1972.

Currie continued his work as a professional architect, educator, and planner throughout the 1970s and 1980s. No longer Dean, he continued to serve as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 1972-1981, as a Fulbright Senior Fellow, 1972-1973, and as a visiting professor at international universities. A partner in the firm Atkins, Currie and Payne, he later headed Leonard Currie and Associates. Currie served as a member of the Chicago Cultural Commission, 1963-1966, as a co-promulgator of the Charter of Machu Picchu. He authored numerous books and articles including Housing in Costa Rica (with Rafaela Espinosa), Planning of Central American Campuses, and Designing Environments for the Ageing. Involved in many different projects, Currie's achievements include work on the Rockefeller Foundation, planning for the campus of the National University of Nicaragua, and award winning residential homes.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents

The Leonard and Virginia Currie Collection is divided into three series. Series I: Photographs consists of black and white photographs of the Near West Side neighborhood in Chicago. Series II: Manuscript Materials includes pamphlets, correspondence, press releases, clippings, some small photographs, and Chicago Department of Urban Renewal materials. Series III: Oversize Materials includes plats.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives 2004-03-10

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607

Restrictions on Access


Restrictions on Use


Acquisition Information

Donated to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in 1985, these materials were later accessioned to Library Special Collections at the University of Illinois at Chicago in April 2000.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Near West Side (Chicago, Ill.) -- Photographs.
  • Near West Side (Chicago, Ill.).

Personal Name(s)

  • Currie, Leonard J. (Leonard James), 1913- -- Archives
  • Currie, Virginia -- Archives


  • Chicago Neighborhoods.
  • Urban renewal -- Illinois -- Chicago.

Return to Table of Contents »


Who's Who in America, 1996. 50th ed. Vol. 1, A-K. New Providence, N.J.:Marquis Who's Who, 1995.

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Series I: Photographs 

Box Folder

Corner of Harrison and Throop with Notre Dame Church in background, 1970s 

1 1

Victor Arrigo Park, 1970s 

1 2

View from above corner of Harrison Street and Ashland, 1970s 

1 3

Neighborhood housing development inside courtyard, 1970s 

1 4

Whitney Young School at 211 S. Laflin, 1970s 

1 5

Neighborhood housing development, 1970s 

1 6

Bishop Street looking south, 1970s 

1 7

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini Hospital at Lytle and Racine, 1970s 

1 8

Vacant lot between Harrison and Congress, 1970s 

1 9

Overlooking Harrison Street with Circle Court in the background, 1970s 

1 10

Looking west from Racine with cleared land in foreground, 1970s 

1 11

Corner of Ashland and Harrison showing El line and downtown Chicago in background, 1970s 

1 12

Looking south across Harrison Street with Notre Dame Church in background, 1970s 

1 13

Entrance to Circle Court shopping center at corner of Harrison and Racine, 1970s 

1 14

Looking southeast across Harrison Street with University buildings in background, 1970s 

1 15

Return to Table of Contents »

Series II: Manuscript Materials 

Box Folder

Igo, James T. The Redevelopment of the Near West Side for Industrial Purposes, ca. 1951 

1 16

Hull-House Citizen Participation Project. Our Neighbors and Urban Renewal, Progress Report, September 1956 - August 1957 

1 17

Hull-House Association. A Social Settlement in Times of Neighborhood Change: How Chicago's Hull-House Serves its Young People in these "Years Between.", 1957 

1 18

Draft of "Prospective for Redevelopers, Slum and Blighted Area Redevelopment, Project Congress-Racine, N.Ill. R-52 and Urban Renewal Project Near West Side, No. Ill. R-12," , ca. 1961 

1 19

City of Chicago. Department of Urban Renewal. Near West Side Urban Renewal Plan. Chicago: City of Chicago, 1961 

1 20

Correspondence, press releases, photographs, newsletters - Re.: Campus Green -, 1968-1971 

1 21

Return to Table of Contents »

Series III: Oversize Materials   


Plat of Surveys for Parcels of land in Chicago's Near West Side, 1964-1973 

Folder 22

Return to Table of Contents »