Modern Designers

Wells Ira Bennett

Design Profession: Architect

Building Types: Educational, Other, Residential

Wells Ira Bennett was born in Red Creek, New York, on August 1, 1888.  He received architectural degrees from Syracuse University (1911) and the University of Michigan (1916).  As a student, Bennett was a member of the Tau Sigma Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor socities.  In 1913 he began a lifelong career in academia when he accepted an instructor position at the University of Michigan, teaching descriptive geometry and drawing courses.  He was promoted to Assistant Professor of Descriptive Geometry and Drawing in 1919, Associate Professor of Architecture in 1927, full Professor and director of the College of Architecture in 1936, and dean of the College of Architecture in 1938.  As dean, Bennett brought some of the country's most accomplished architects to the university for lectures, seminars, and conferences.  As a professor, Bennett was a member of Alpha Rho Chi, Phi Kappa Tau, and Tau Sigma Delta.

During World War I, Bennett served for about eight months as a draftsman in the Construction Division of the United States Army.  Later, he was employed as a civilian in the same division.

In his professional endeavors, Bennett designed several buildings around Ann Arbor, notably his own residence.  He also engaged in various research projects and wrote extensively.  Bennett also served on numerous professional boards and committees, and was the vice-president (1944-1945) and president (1946-1947) of the Detroit chapter of the American Institue of Architects.  He was named a Fellow of the AIA in 1947. 

Wells Bennett married Sybil Crowninshield Kennedy in 1913.  They had two children, Phyllis and Ned.  Bennett passed away in 1965.

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