Gruen, Phil

Gruen, Phil

Associate Professor, Architecture

Phone: 509-335-2309
Office: Daggy 318

Phil Gruen brings a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary perspective to the school. An historian of the built environment with expertise in American architecture and urbanism of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, Gruen encourages students to consider the social, cultural, and political aspects of design as bearers of meaning. His courses—from broad surveys to advanced seminars—approach the world of design from the methods of the cultural landscape and stress the importance of narrative, interpretation, and engagement over received “facts” and textbook learning. At WSU, he has taught courses in the global history of design, modern architecture, historic preservation, tourism and travel, and vernacular architecture, and he has garnered several awards for teaching excellence. He served as SDC director from 2014-17 and became a Faculty Fellow in the Honors College in 2017.

Gruen also has published more than twenty-five articles and book reviews and presented at nearly thirty conferences on a range of topics: from Charles Rennie Mackintosh and modern stadiums to Disneyland and the re-creation of the mining frontier in Virginia City, Montana. His first book, Manifest Destinations: Cities and Tourists in the Nineteenth-Century American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014), explores the frequent disconnect between the promotion of the built environment and its encounter in four western cites: Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. Gruen’s current research is focused in the Pacific Northwest: he is co-coordinating the Society of Architectural Historians’ Archipedia “100 Classic Buildings” project for the state of Washington while conducting research on the WSU campus and the Sunrise development at Mount Rainier National Park. Locally, Gruen serves on the Historic Preservation Commission for the city of Pullman. He received his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego (1992); his M.A. from the University of Illinois, Chicago (1995); and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (2004).

Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D. in Architecture, University of California, Berkeley (2004)

M.A. in the History of Architecture and Art, University of Illinois, Chicago (1995)

B.A. in Art History/Criticism, University of California, San Diego (1992)

Physical Mail

School of Design + Construction
Washington State University
100 Dairy Road
PO Box 642220
Pullman , WA 99164-2220