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U of M Encyclopedic Survey 1304
Upon the death of Professor J. J. Rousseau in 1931, Jean Hébrard was appointed Professor of Architecture.
He was born in Paris in 1878 and was trained at the École des Beaux-arts. He first came to the United States in 1907 to teach architecture at Cornell University, but returned to France to serve as an officer in the French army during World War I.
Between 1919 and 1923 he practiced in Paris doing valuable work in housing. He was architect for the important housing development in Paris Marcadet and in the garden city of Gennevilliers, a suburb of Paris. He was also the architect, during the reconstruction activities in the devastated regions following World War I, for the completely destroyed city of Albigny in the Ardennes.
In 1926 Professor Hébrard returned to the United States. He was professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania until he came to Ann Arbor. He taught in the College of Architecture and Design until his retirement in 1948.
In addition to high competence, Hébrard brought to the College an unusual personality. Quiet in his teaching methods, he was a man of great charm who made a lasting impression on the character of this institution. Though he was well grounded in the French system, he was in no sense limited by it.
His interest in city planning was great, and it was his insistence that merged the interests of city planning and the design of buildings, which provides an important continuing principle in the policy of the College.
He was keenly alive to the changing situation in the practice of architecture and was among the first to see that the old aloofness of the architect as an artist was no longer valid.
His professional work in France in the field of housing is evidence of his wide social interests. He was equally conscious of other changes brought about by the industrial revolution.
It is interesting to know that since Professor Hébrard’s retirement from the University he has continued to be active in the profession, both in France and in the United States. He has carried out a commission from the French Minister of Reconstruction and Urbanism in the form of research study as to conditions on urbanism in the United States (Tendances actuelles de l’urbanisme aux États-Unis).