“To be, rather than to seem”. Perhaps North Carolina’s motto was on the minds of the architects that encouraged the legislature a century ago to pass a bill to regulate the practice of architecture in North Carolina. Regulation of such professions was a fairly new concept in the early 20th century. The growth in population and the rapid change in building technology of that time warranted the need for competent architects and as this need became increasingly apparent to members of the profession and the public, they accepted the challenge to author these first regulations. Our State was already on the forefront of public protection through establishing regulations and the formation of occupational licensing boards. The first Nursing Board of Registration in the U.S. was enacted in North Carolina in 1903. Several others soon followed and in 1915, the North Carolina Board of Architecture was formed and became the seventh architecture board created in the nation.
By early 2015, as the Board approached its 100th anniversary, approximately 13,100 individual licenses had been issued to professionals wishing to practice in this State. A majority of those licenses were issued on the basis of education, experience and examination while others were issued on the basis of reciprocity. The standards for each – education, experience, examination and reciprocity – have necessarily evolved through the years, as has the profession.
As we look to the next 100 years, we would like to recognize and honor the past. This North Carolina Board of Architecture history provides a brief overview of the development of the rules and laws that define and govern the practice today.