History of Harrington

Harrington College of Design was founded in 1931 when Frances Harrington, a practicing interior designer from New York, began a lecture series in Chicago for professionals, later expanding his instruction to the public and eventually offering a diploma to day and evening division students.

After Mr. Harrington’s retirement in 1959, a former student, Robert Marks, assumed leadership of the school which at that time was called Harrington Institute of Interior Design. Under his direction, the school continued to add program levels and later degree options as well as accreditation.

In 2003, Harrington Institute became Harrington College of Design to better reflect the introduction of additional career-focused design programs. The addition of digital photography and graphic design programs has made the campus an exciting place to learn, with many opportunities for interdisciplinary, collaborative learning experiences.

On April 1, 2015, the College announced plans to discontinue enrolling new students and teach out all currently enrolled students. As part of this plan, the College partnered with Columbia College Chicago to complete the teachout and later relocated to the Columbia campus as part of this agreement. The teachout is scheduled for completion in mid-2018.

Harrington’s story continues to be written with each successive class of graduates. The school is built on a foundation of substance and tradition but evolves as it continues to thrive on agility and flexibility.