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Carroll William Westfall


Carroll William Westfall is an architectural historian born in Fresno California in 1937. Mr. Westfall holds a BA from the University of California, MA from the University of Manchester, and a PhD from Columbia University.


Mr. Westfall is Professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, South Bond, Indiana. He went to Notre Dame in 1998 and served as Chairman until 2002. Currently Mr. Westfall teaches architectural history and theory to advanced students. Prior to this, Professor Westfall taught at Amherst College, the University of Illinois at Chicago and, after 1982 at the University of Virginia.

Mr. Westfall’s special interest has always been the history of the city.  He has concentrated on the reciprocity between the political life and the urban and architectural elements that serve the needs of citizens. An early exploration concerned the role Rome’s architecture and urbanism played in the Pope’s reformation of the Church between 1447 and 1455 and therefore of architecture’s capacity to facilitate civil and religious purposes.  This resulted in several articles and a book, In This Most Perfect Paradise (Pennsylvania State University Press: 1974; Italian edition: L’invenzione della città 1984).

Amoung Mr. Westfall’s more recent studies of the relationship between the history, theory and practice of architecture are Architectural Principles in the Age of Historicism (Yale University Press 1991), written with Robert Jan van Pelt, and Architecture and Democracy, Democracy and Architecture Democracy and the Arts (ed. A. Melzer, J. Weinberger, M. Zinman, Ithaca and London, Cornell University Press: 1999, pp 73-91), The True American City in The New City: The American City, University of Miami School of Architecture, II (1993-94), pp. 8-25.

Architecture, Liberty, and Civic Order: Theories of Architecture from Vitruvius to Jefferson and Beyond (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2015), and several articles about theory in architecture in the American Arts Quarterly in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2015, as well as in several other journals, periodicals, and collections such as  “City as Teacher,” in The American Founding: Its Intellectual and Moral Framework, ed. Daniel N. Robinson and Richard N. Williams (London and New York: Continuum, 2012), pp. 77-103.

Further information

Professor Carroll William Westfall
Frank Montana Professor Emeritus
School of Architecture
University of Notre Dame
3804 Noble Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23222
Tel: +1 574 631 6137