The Center for Architecture

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Who Is Douglas Haskell


 The Haskell Award for Student Journalism was established by Helen Lacey Haskell, the wife of architectural journalist and editor Douglas Haskell in the late 1980s.


Its purpose is to perpetuate intelligent writing about design as a means to encourage the development of architects and allied professionals.


Douglas Putnam Haskell was born in Monastir, Yugoslavia in 1899, the son of American missionaries to the Balkans. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1923, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Art. Haskell spent his entire career as journalist and editor. He 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.


Architectural Forum was very influencial under his leadership. It was really the only magazine to take a stand against the demolition of Penn Station, and Haskell personally used the influence of Architectural Forum to help stop the demolition of Grand Central Station.


Though not an architect himself, he was admitted as an honorary member to the American Institute of Architects. You can read his editorials and correspondence with architects such as Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Ed Bacon, and Mies Van der Rohe at Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library.