Category: Education

What it Means to Intern in Wallace Neff’s Office

Reporting from the first day of her internship, Aly Burkhalter (candidate for an MArch and the ICAA Certificate in Classical Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver) writes:

No, I am not interning for Wallace Neff, the Southern California architect largely responsible for developing the “California” style. But I do get to work in the room that was his office many years ago, and I hope some of his great knowledge rubs off the walls onto my humble sketches.

Now, it is not only the greatness and brilliance of Wallace Neff roaming about the halls of 180 E Colorado Blvd, but also the legacy and tradition of the architecture firm Moule & Polyzoides. Today, on my first day of interning, I worked on graphics for a book composing almost 30 years of practice into diagrams and techniques that will guide the next generation of Urbanists. As I was diagramming for the book, I didn’t dismiss these rudimentary drawings but I soaked up all that they were saying. They stood for a better built environment. They stood for educating the next generation on a better public realm. They stood for combating sprawl and promoting walkability. I won’t be ripping out freeways and painting bike lanes this summer. But I hope on my first day as an intern, I added a single page to a book that will help designers build a better future of beautiful, people-oriented spaces.

I bolster my generation, the next generation of New Urbanists, because I was given a firm understanding in informative and successional diagramming at UC Denver, but also a grasp of the issues at hand through CARTA and SCA. I know that these traditional forms and the legacy of Wallace Neff are rooted in sustainable practices but also promote community and social engagement. I have so much more to learn but I’m through with my first day.

Alyson Cruz Burkhalter

Join CARTA for a Watercolor Sketching Intensive

Saturday, April 22, 2017
9:00am – 12:00pm – Introduction
1:00pm – 4:00pm – Plein Air
Watercolor is a powerful medium for depicting light, shade, shadow, and color. This day-long workshop is offered in two parts: a morning introductory session and an afternoon plein air session. While the two sessions are designed to work together, you may participate in either or both.

Register Now


9:00am – 12:00pm Introduction
College of Architecture and Planning, 1250 14th Street, Denver, CO
Join CARTA Director Christine G. H. Franck for a morning introduction to watercolor for sketching. You will learn about the tools, techniques, and medium of watercolor; practice techniques like running washes and working wet-on-wet; develop a color wheel and learn about color theory; and complete a watercolor sketch of a still life composition in practice for the afternoon plein air session.

1:00pm – 4:00pm  Plein Air
Cheesman Park Pavilion
In the afternoon session, you will complete a watercolor sketch of one of Denver’s most beautiful civic structures: the Cheesman Park Pavilion. CARTA Director Christine G. H. Franck will lead you through composing your view, preparing a base sketch, developing shade and shadow, and techniques for sketching landscape elements in watercolor. In the event of rain, the sketch will be completed in the pavilion. Please bring a lightweight chair or blanket to sit on, and an easel if you would like to.

Materials: You will receive a list of recommended supplies, many of which will also be on hand for students’ use.

Costs by registrant type:
Professional/General Public: (One session=$30, All day=$50)
10% discount for ICAA Members ($27, $45)
50% discount for Students and faculty ($15, $25)
50% + $5 discount for SCA Members ($12, $20)

Note: The prices listed above for just one session, morning or afternoon, reflect 60% of the full day price.

To register:

Register Now

For information contact:

CARTA | 2016 | Year in Review

2016 has been a banner year for CARTA! As we close out this year, we wanted to take a moment and thank you for your support and highlight all we have accomplished toward our shared vision of a more beautiful, sustainable, and equitable built environment.

View a PDF of the CARTA | 2016 report here: CARTA | 2016, or link through the cover image below.

After learning more, we hope you will join our effort to make traditional design lessons available for architecture, landscape, and urban design students today by including us in your year end giving. A gift of any amount helps, for the future of traditional design in higher education is entirely in your hands.


Thank you all for your dedication, talent, and the inspiration that your work and wisdom provide us here as we help the phoenix of tradition rise anew,


Christine G. H. Franck
Director, CARTA


Precedent: Its Importance and Its Practice | A Lecture by David M. Schwarz


Precedent has long been integral to architecture. In days past, it was based in history, that which has come before. Not so much today. Precedent, as architecture itself, has found its origins in odd and different places. This talk strives to understand precedent in the architecture of today as its incorporation into the work of David M. Schwarz Architects.

Renowned for their new performing arts centers, sports arenas, urban revitalizations, and numerous civic, cultural, educational, health-care, mixed-use, and multi-family projects, David M. Schwarz Architects sees architecture as both a service and an art. They focus on crafting sustainable, human-centered places in stewardship of the public realm; a philosophy they have studied and developed through their planning and design projects in urban environs since their founding in 1978 in Washington, DC.

Mr. Schwarz received his B.A. at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and Master of Architecture at Yale University. He currently serves as Chairman of the Yale School of Architecture Dean’s Council; a member of the Executive Committee of the Yale University Capital Campaign; and a  jury member of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. Additionally, he serves as the Jury Chairman for the Vincent J. Scully Prize Fund Endowment of the National Building Museum.

Thanks to the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, this lecture is free and open to all.
RSVP required to attend.
RSVP to: or (303) 315-0063.


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CARTA Fall 2016 Workshops and Lectures

We have an exciting, informative, and educational range of activities this fall. From classes, to lectures, and workshops, we are focusing on the full range of knowledge necessary for today’s practitioners, students, and members of the general public who seek to learn more about traditional architecture, urban design, landscape, and building crafts.


Click below to register or rsvp for each activity:

Fundamentals of Traditional Design: Part I
Tuesday, November 8, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Fundamentals of Traditional Design: Part II
Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM


Builders’ Network Breakfast (By invitation)
Tuesday, November  8, 7:30am – 8:30am

Concepts of Time and Newness in Architecture
Tuesday, November 29, 6:00PM – 7:30 PM


Stone Quarry Tour with Loukonen Bros.  Stone
Friday, November 4, 3:00pm—6:00pm

Masonry Workshop with Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute
Friday, December 2, 3:00pm—6:00pm


Introduction to Watercolor Sketching
Saturday, November 5, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

A Perspective on Classical Architectural Education

A Perspective on Classical Architectural Education

We’ve added a link to the video of a new lecture delivered by CARTA Director Christine G. H. Franck at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture for Thomas Gordon Smith’s retirement colloquium, “Classical Architecture: Explore, Build, Teach,” for which she explored different perspectives on classical architectural education.

Click on the link above or the image below to watch.

What have your experiences of education in classical and traditional architecture been?



The Necessity for Drawing in the Education of the Architect

The Necessity for Drawing in the Education of the Architect: A Lecture by Christine G. H. Franck

CARTA’s Director, Christine G. H. Franck, considers the role of hand drawing in the development of design thinking at the recent conference on the “Art of Architecture: Hand Drawing and Design” held at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. Click on the link above of the picture below to watch the lecture, starting at about 21 minutes into the session.



Rule and Invention in Classical Architecture: A Lecture by Thomas Gordon Smith

Rule and Invention in Classical Architecture: A Lecture by Thomas Gordon Smith, Architect and Professor of Architecture, University of Notre Dame

CARTA was honored to help bring Thomas Gordon Smith to lecture in Denver, for The 2nd Clinton Family Fund Lecture, organized by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Rocky Mountain Chapter and CARTA. At this event, Bruce and Martha Clinton had an opportunity to meet the inaugural class of The Clinton Scholars, students at CU Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning interested in the mission of CARTA and supported in their efforts with scholarships from The Clinton Family Fund. CARTA’s mission is to advance the interdisciplinary study and practice of traditional architecture, building craft, landscape architecture and urban design through spirited debate, rigorous education and transformative research so we may improve the built environment and people’s quality of life. Click on the link above to watch CARTA’s third lecture with architect, professor, and former Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame.

Dean and CARTA Faculty Director Mark Gelernter, PhD, (second from left) visits with guest lecturer Professor and Architect Thomas Gordon Smith (right), and CAP alumna Samantha White (MArch 2014) (left), and guest.

On the Nature of Tradition and Innovation: A Lecture by Robert Adam

On the Nature of Tradition and Innovation: A Lecture by Robert Adam

CARTA has brought some of the world’s leading figures in design and education to Denver to further our mission of advancing the interdisciplinary study and practice of traditional architecture, building craft, landscape architecture and urban design through spirited debate, rigorous education and transformative research so we may improve the built environment and people’s quality of life. Click on the link above to watch CARTA’s second lecture with architect Robert Adam and to see pictures of his visit.

Architect Robert Adam reviews student work in Lecturer Cameron Kruger’s design studio.