A new collection of local architecture, including the work of noted architect A. William Hajjar, will be showcased in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Hajjar, a former Penn State architecture professor, had a major influence on the aesthetic look of State College, said Tim Pyatt, head of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library.
“Hajjar was a revolutionary architect who brought a modernistic 60s look to the area,” Pyatt said. “We are very excited to share this collection with the community.”
Arts and Architecture Librarian Henry Pisciotta views Hajjar as a feature figure of the design theme in the area.
He once had the chance to tour a home that Hajjar designed for himself.
“He was very good at giving shape to an interior space,” Pisciotta said. “[His home] is just a lovely and unusual space that’s really quite beautiful.”
In addition to the work of Hajjar, an online database of local architecture will be officially unveiled at Sunday’s event.
The database, “Central Pennsylvania Architecture and Landscape Architecture,” is a collection of more than 1,000 images of local architecture that can be accessed worldwide through the library website.
Many of the images are of mid-century modern houses that were designed by Hajjar, Philip Hallock and Kenneth Heidrich — all former Penn State faculty members.
Professor Emeritus of Accounting Robert Malcom contributed his own photographs and research to the database. Malcom first started documenting local architecture as an amateur photographer when he became the treasurer of the Centre County Historical Society.
Malcom said that he has treasured the opportunity to experience modern architecture firsthand.
“It’s been a thrill to see community members become interested in this,” Malcom said. “It’s pretty gratifying.”
Members of the community, including those who now own homes designed by these local architects, will be given the chance on Sunday to see original plans and full-color artist renderings of Hajjar’s buildings.
Many of these homeowners have been enthusiastic about contributing to the project and learning more about their house, Pisciotta said.
“We’ve already had someone tell us about a building designed by Hajjar that wasn’t in our database,” Pisciotta said. “We’re happy to discover more and hope this event focuses people’s attention towards these new opportunities to document local architecture.”