AIA Brooklyn is dedicated to the advancement of the architectural profession through education, outreach, and mutual support.

In 1894 a small group of architects obtained a charter from the American Institute of Architects to form a new chapter in Brooklyn, which was, at the time, an independent city.

At a meeting on October 9, 1894, members selected a board of directors and adopted five standing committees. The officers were: Louis de Coppet Bergh, President; Samuel B. Snook, Vice-President; Andrew G. Thompson, Secretary, and Halstead B. Fowler, Treasurer.

Many of the early Chapter members had offices in Manhattan but lived in Brooklyn. Many of the AIA Brooklyn founders were active in the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Department of Architecture. The Institute was a precursor to the AIA Chapter.

The Brooklyn Chapter met monthly, often at someone’s home or at a local hotel or club. These dinner meetings combined socializing with chapter business. There were often notable speakers. By 1898 Brooklyn was no longer a separate city and was part of Greater New York. There were many spirited discussions about the lists of qualified architects eligible for city contracts. From the Brooklyn perspective, it seemed that most on the lists were Manhattan architects; and AIA Brooklyn was constantly vying for their fair share, of Brooklyn projects.

Beginning in 1899, the chapter held yearly exhibitions of architectural drawings and projects at Brooklyn galleries and later, at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Depression brought hardships to the country and to the architectural profession. World War II brought further restrictions. A number of Chapter member served in the war and others designed projects for the government in support of the war effort. In 1944, the fiftieth anniversary of the chapter was observed with a quiet dinner in a local restaurant.

The 1950’s and 1960’s saw a burst of activity and a stable membership, despite the splitting of the chapter territory by the formation of the Queens and Long Island chapters in 1945. During these years, the chapter established a foundation to further the profession of architecture. Annual dinner dances helped fund scholarships for architecture students. In 1957, in association with the centennial of the national Institute, the Chapter celebrated its five hundredth meeting with a gala dinner at the Granada Hotel. In 1967, the Brooklyn Society of Architects joined the chapter. During the 1970’s new building and development was hampered by New York City’s fiscal crisis.

By the 1990’s Brooklyn began to rebound economically. In 2019 the Chapter celebrated its one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary with a memorable gala at the Palm House at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Today, the Chapter is a vibrant local organization with various dynamic committees and Knowledge Networks such as: the Custom Residential Architecture Network (CRAN), the Committee on the Environment (COTE), the Urban Design Committee, Emerging and Young Professionals, as well as the bi-annual Brooklyn Design Awards.