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All in the Family
Major donation to fund new architecture school at the University of Notre Dame.
Bond Hall, home of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

A $27 million gift will help fund a new School of Architecture building at the University of Notre Dame, as well as an expansion of the school’s academic programs. It is the fifth largest publicly announced donation in the University’s history.

The new building will be named in honor of the donors, Matthew and Joyce Walsh, of Burr Ridge, Illinois. Matthew Walsh is a 1968 graduate of Notre Dame and co-chairman of Chicago construction giant Walsh Construction Co.

At 60,000 square feet, the Walsh Family Hall of Architecture will help the school add two new graduate programs: historic preservation and real estate development. The School currently serves 200 to 250 undergraduates and 50 graduate students. Academic programs will move from the school’s current home in Bond Hall to the new building, which will replace a parking lot at the south end of campus.

The school is perhaps best known for awarding the Driehaus Architecture Prize for traditional and classical design. The somewhat staid reputation it has earned for emphasizing classical form rather than modernist exploration, however, is balanced by a curriculum that has produced alumni including the postmodernist John Burgee and Studio NYL founder Chris O'Hara.

Chris Bentley