CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

MCCORNACK, WALTER ROY

MCCORNACK, WALTER ROY

MCCORNACK, WALTER ROY (2 Mar. 1877-6 Nov. 1961) was an architect best known for his work with schools and public housing. His work in these two areas is credited with changing the face of Cleveland.

McCornack, the son of Andrew Fletcher and Ella Carruthers (Brown) McCornack, was born near Oneida, Ill. He attended Knox College and MIT, graduating in 1903. He worked in the office of Edmund M. Wheelwright in Boston from 1909 to 1913 before moving to Cleveland.

He served as the official architect for the Cleveland School Board from 1914 to 1925, and most of the new schools built during this time were designed by him. He established, in 1915, a "comprehensive research laboratory" for the Board to assist in such areas as school planning and design. Thereafter McCornack entered into private practice. He continued to design school buildings, including ones for SHAKER HEIGHTS, EAST CLEVELAND, and CLEVELAND HEIGHTS.

McCornack was also a advocate of public housing projects as a remedy for both substandard housing and joblessness. He was considered a pioneer in the area of slum clearance and was a founder of Cleveland Homes, Inc., which organized slum clearance programs under public works agencies. He was the architect of the Cedar-Central Apartments (1937), one of the first three public housing projects in the nation.

In 1939 he returned to Boston to become dean of the School of Architecture and Regional and City Planning at MIT. He retired from MIT in 1945. During his career he also worked on the Boston and Minneapolis Museums of Fine Art.

McCornack married, on 6 June 1906, Lillian Hutchins Amsden, and they had a son Donald. McCornack died in Littleton, NH.