Colleagues, students, friends and family established the Thomas L. Schumacher Memorial Endowment in November 2011 to support architecture students in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation who intend to participate in the architecture study abroad program in Rome, Italy.
Born in New York City in 1941 and raised in the Bronx, Thomas L. Schumacher earned both his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture from Cornell University. While at Cornell, Schumacher studied under Colin Rowe and formed part of the contextualism school of thought, which was critical of modern urban design. Widely influential, contextualism initially attempted to reconcile modern building types with urban forms based on the traditional city. Schumacher’s Master of Architecture thesis, done under Rowe’s direction, was widely cited as one of the first projects to illustrate the possibilities of synthesizing these two aspects of design theory. In 1967, Schumacher was awarded the Rome Prize for architecture and spent 1967-1969 at the American Academy in Rome.
During his career, Schumacher held academic appointments at Princeton University, the University of Virginia, the University IVAU of Venice (Italy), Catholic University, Syracuse University and lectured widely throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and the United Kingdom. In 1984, Schumacher joined the University of Maryland School of Architecture. During his time at Maryland, Schumacher served on the University Senate faculty affairs committee and originated the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s Rome Program. He also published numerous books and articles on Italian modern architecture of the 1930’s, in particular on the Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni. Schumacher’s studies of Terragni’s built and unbuilt work focused upon the formal aspects of the work and its relationship to programmatic imperatives, often illustrating the historical foundations of the compositional and typological strategies inherent in the work. One of Schumacher’s published studies was of Terragni’s Danteum project, a building designed by the architect based upon an interpretation of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. His major work on Terragni entitled Surface and Symbol: Giuseppe Terragni and the Architecture of Italian Rationalism was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 1991 and has enjoyed wide distribution and translation into Italian and German editions.
In 1991, Thomas Schumacher returned to Rome as resident architect at the American Academy. In 1992-1993, he was named a Distinguished Professor by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. He passed away on July 15, 2009 in Washington, DC after a battle with cancer.
In memory of his remarkable contributions to the field of architecture and in honor of his love for the city of Rome, the colleagues, students, friends and family of Thomas L. Schumacherestablished an endowed fund to provide support for students enrolled in the Architecture Program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park who intend to participate in the architecture study abroad program in Rome, Italy.
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