Commemorative issue American Institute of Architects
Founded in New York in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) initially was a club where architects could discuss their profession informally. AIA headquarters since 1898 has been in Washington, DC. For many years it was housed in the Octagon, a historic structure designed by Dr. William Thornton, a physician-turned-architect. The Octagon was a temporary executive mansion for James and Dolly Madison in the winter of 1814-1815. As a policy-making body, the AIA serves "the needs of, and improves the capability of, the nation's architects and to be of service to the safety and welfare of the public."