Born in Washington, DC, Van Tuyl Hart Bien first attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1906. Then he pursued his degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, finishing in 1910. After graduation he remained in Massachusetts nearly three years, working as a mold loftsman at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, MA (1911-14). He followed this with a stint as a general contractor in building construction from 1914 to 1930. Although he established his own architectural firm in 1930, his expertise in naval architecture was still important, and as part of the war effort from 1941 to 1945 he worked on P.T. boats and cargo vessels at the yards in Annapolis, MD.
Bien's independent architectural work concentrated on residences and schools.
He was active in the Maryland Society of Architects and served as chair of a commission intended to merge the Maryland Society with the AIA in 1943. For the Potomac Valley Chapter of the AIA he first worked on the committee which applied to organize the chapter and saw the new chapter through the granting of its charter in 1955.
Kelly Spring, and
Sandra L. Tatman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Baltimore Chapter, AIA
- Potomac Chapter (AIA)
- Washington-Metropolitan Chapter (AIA)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
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