Paul P. Cret

CFA Service: 1940–1945

Trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and Paris in the 1890s, Paul Philippe Cret, FAIA, is regarded as a practitioner of early modernism. Before settling in the United States in 1903 to teach at the University of Pennsylvania, Cret’s reputation in France was already well established, and he was the recipient of numerous architectural prizes. Once in the United States, he formed his own office in Philadelphia, where he worked until shortly before his death. Cret’s portfolio includes significant public buildings throughout the country and several World War I memorials at American military cemeteries in France and Belgium. Among his most noted works in Washington, D.C., are the Pan American building with Albert Kelsey, the Federal Reserve Board building, Central Heating Plant, the Calvert Street Bridge, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Cret was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his many awards include a medal of honor from the Architectural League of New York in 1928 and an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1938 as well as honorary degrees from Harvard and Brown Universities and the University of Pennsylvania. Cret’s papers are archived at the University of Pennsylvania.