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2008 Arthur Ross Awards


The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America (ICA&CA) recently announced the winners of its 27th annual Arthur Ross Awards, which are presented for excellence in the Classical tradition. The 2008 awards were presented in the categories of architecture, education, history/writing, painting and stewardship as well as the Board of Directors' Honor. The winners were selected from more than 100 nominations.

The awards program was established in 1982 by Arthur Ross, chairman of Classical America at the time, and Henry Hope Reed, the organization's president. Over the years, they have recognized the achievements and contributions of architects, painters, sculptors, artisans, landscape designers, educators, publishers, patrons and others dedicated to preserving the Classical tradition. Past honorees include architects such as Allan Greenberg and Quinlan Terry; artisans such as Historical Arts and Casting and Decorators Supply Co. and others, including H.R.H. The Prince of Wales.

The Arthur Ross Awards are given for a career or body of work, rather than for individual projects. The 2008 jury included Allan Greenberg, chair, architect and author; Anne Fairfax, chair of the ICA&CA, and partner in the firm of Fairfax & Sammons; Michael Cannell, journalist and author, editor of Dwell magazine; Elizabeth Dowling, professor, College of Architecture, Georgia Tech, and author; Elizabeth Suzanne Tucker, interior designer and president of the Northern California Chapter of the ICA&CA; Foster Reeve, master artisan of plaster; Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, author, founding president of The Foundation for Landscape Studies and of the Central Park Conservancy; and Phillip James Dodd, ICA&CA fellow, author and architect with the firm of Wadia Associates.


Architecture: John Simpson, London, UK
John Simpson was cited for creating timeless architecture that responds to contemporary requirements. Known in the UK as "Britain's reigning scholar-diplomat architect" (see profile in Traditional Building magazine, February, 2005, page 6), he has been designing traditional buildings for 25 years. In the 1980s he made significant strides toward making the public aware of New Classicism with projects such as his designs at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge. In 1999, he won the competition to redevelop the Queen's Gallery as a public gateway at Buckingham Palace. Simpson has also worked extensively with the Prince's Foundation. Simpson's contributions also include urban design. He came to prominence in the early 1990s with his design of Paternoster Square in London and since then he has been the master planner for several mixed-use projects in England. Most recently, he designed an addition to the Carhart Mansion in New York City. (See Period Homes, July 2007, page 15.)

Education: The American College of the Building Arts, Charleston, SC
America's first and only four-year degree institution that combines a liberal arts degree with a traditional trade school apprenticeship, the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) grew out of School of the Building Arts, founded in 1999. In 2005 it evolved into ACBA and now offers degrees in stone carving, architectural metals, finish carpentry, timber framing and plastering. The school is training artisans to become America's next generation of professionals and stewards to preserve our rich building legacy. Recently, ACBA found an appropriate permanent campus on James Island, SC, with the purchase of the McLeod Plantation. The University of Miami School of Architecture's Preservation Studio is developing the site, with the goal of providing a supporting and inspirational environment for the college and the community.

History/Writing: Mark Alan Hewitt, Bernardsville, NJ
The author of countless articles and books, Mark Alan Hewitt (See profile in Period Homes, November, 2007, page 6) is an architect, historian and educator. He merges his training in the Classical tradition with his experience to reframe the debate on historic buildings, making them natural citizens in the community, rather than untouchable artifacts. He has published books such as The Architect and the American Country Home (1890-1940), The Architecture of Mott B. Schmidt and Gustave Stickley's Craftsman Farms: The Quest for an Arts & Crafts Utopia. Hewitt has also taught architecture and historic preservation at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. His 10-year-old firm, Hewitt Architects, has completed more than 70 projects, ranging from restorations and renovations to additions and new houses. Painting: Alexander Creswell, Surrey, UK

Painting: Alexander Creswell, Surrey, UK
British watercolorist Alexander Creswell's paintings reflect his passion for the architecture of great civilizations. During his 28-year career, he has specialized in depicting architecture and the spirit of place. His career began with training in art history and architecture. Creswell is perhaps best known for his series of paintings recording the fire-ravaged rooms at Windsor Castle before and after restoration, which was commissioned by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. He has also done work for the Prince's Foundation, acting as lead tutor and accompanying the Prince on a tour of Eastern Europe as official artist.

Stewardship: The Committee to Save the City, Charleston, SC
With the goal of restoring Charleston's traditional neighborhoods and protecting its fragile historic districts, The Committee to Save the City has grown to a membership of more than 500 since it was started in 1996. It has also become a model for other historic neighborhoods in America. The grassroots committee has initiated constructive changes in zoning codes and tourist regulations within Charleston's historic district, prompting the mayor to create a Tourism Management Forum. It publishes a newsletter with a circulation of 11,000 and consistently continues to guard the city's historic buildings and neighborhoods.

Board of Directors Honor: Alvin Holm, AIA
The Institute is recognizing Alvin Holm, AIA, for his contributions to architecture and education. He has served on the Board of Directors of the ICA&CA and as president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Institute. His upcoming book, The New American Vignola: A Textbook for Drawing the Orders, will become part of the Institute's "Classical American Series in Art and Architecture."  



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