May 31, 2018
Peter Harrison (1716-1775), Greatest American Architect, a lecture by John Fitzhugh Millar
Peter Harrison (1716-1775), born in Yorkshire, UK, but for many years a resident of New England, is arguably the greatest architect who ever worked in America. A prodigy like Handel or Mozart, his first design at age 17 was for Wentworth-Woodhouse, still the largest private house in Europe. As a result of his having saved the British Empire from being conquered by the French in the 1740s, he was rewarded by being commissioned to design important buildings on every known continent. His papers were mostly destroyed after his death, so in spite of his having designed over 560 buildings he remains very little known on either side of the Atlantic. In 1745, he invented the first practical flush toilet, which he incorporated into his various hospital projects. He designed predominantly in a neo-Palladian style, and invented “wooden rustication,” a way of making a wooden structure look as if it were built of stone blocks. His best-known invention in furniture design is the coveted block-front (1738).
The late Wendell Garrett asked John Millar (a freshman at Harvard in 1962) to begin research on Harrison. The research has eventually resulted in two books: The Buildings of Peter Harrison: Cataloguing the Work of the First Global Architect 1716-1775, published 2014 by McFarland & Company, Inc. and Peter Harrison (1716-1775) Drawings, published 2015 by Thirteen Colonies Press. The work has taken 55 years.
Material-culture historian John Fitzhugh Millar (b. 1945) has written many published books on historic architecture, ships, dance, and general history. A book now in preparation concerns the work of Elizabeth Lady Wilbraham (1632-1705), the world’s first woman architect and Christopher Wren’s teacher. Millar is responsible for the construction of three full-sized, operational copies of Revolutionary War ships for the Bicentennial (the largest being the 24-gun frigate Rose, now in San Diego after having starred with Russell Crowe in Master & Commander). He lives in a Peter Harrison-designed house in Williamsburg, Virginia, which he runs as an historic bed & breakfast called Newport House.
Date: Thursday, May 31, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Boston Athenaeum 10 ½ Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108
Tickets: $15 for Members $20 for General Public
AIA LUs offered
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Estate Tour: The Crane Estate at Castle Hill
Please join the New England Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art for a private tour of the beloved North Shore landmark the Crane Estate, led by ICAA-NE board member and landscape architect Dan Gordon.
Commissioned by Chicago Industrialist Richard T. Crane, Jr., the Italianate estate was first completed in 1911 by the architecture firm Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge in collaboration with The Olmsted Brothers landscape firm. Razed in 1924, the main house was rebuilt by architect David Adler in the style of a Stuart English Country Home, and the grounds and program were revisited by landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff.
From Castle Neck’s early farmsteads to Crane ownership and the current grounds, we will explore the transformation of the landscape in an introductory presentation. A house and garden tour through the architecture and lifestyle of the Crane family and, weather permitting, a visit to the cupola for sweeping views of the 2,100 acre estate, with its salt marshes and barrier beach, will follow.
We invite you to join us for refreshments and a social hour at the newly renovated casino complex following the tour. Support for this event is generously provided by R.P. Marzilli Landscape Contractors.
Date: Sunday, June 10, 2018
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: The Crane Estate, Castle Hill, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA
Tickets: $25 for Members $35 for General Public
AIA LUs offered
New Building in Old Cities: Architecture and Conservation in Historic Settings, a lecture by Steven W. Semes
Can contemporary design and historic architecture be reconciled? The central paradox of historic preservation is how to harmonize old and new architecture, maintaining a distinction between historic fabric and new work while also maintaining a continuity of character. In recent decades, debate has tended to favor either visual harmony based on material and stylistic similarity or visual dissonance aimed at dramatizing the difference between work of the past and "the architecture of our time." Four strategies can be identified for relating old and new, ranging from literal replication to intentional opposition, with two intermediate positions, invention within a style and abstract reference. The talk will examine each of these, illustrated by examples, and then look at what guidance from the National Park Service, ICOMOS, UNESCO, and other bodies has to say about choosing the right approach, making the case for harmony over contrast.
Steven W. Semes is Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. He was Academic Director of the Notre Dame Rome Studies Program 2008-2011 and currently splits his teaching duties between Rome and the main campus. Educated at the University of Virginia and Columbia University, he is the author of The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation (2009) and The Architecture of the Classical Interior (2004). His many articles have appeared in The New Criterion, National Trust Forum Journal, Change Over Time, The Classicist, Traditional Building and Period Homes. He has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. His blog, The View from Rome appeared 2010-15. From 2013 to 2015 he was Editor of The Classicist for the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA), and was a Fellow and member of the ICAA faculty from 1997 to 2005. His current research focuses on the traditional architects of the inter-war period in Rome. Prior to joining the Notre Dame faculty in 2005, he practiced architecture for over thirty years in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.
Date: September 2018
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
Saturday, April 28, 2018
‘Lies that tell the truth’*:Negotiating the subjectivity of expression in contemporary practice
Bulfinch Awards Morning Lecture by Aric Lasher
Architects working within established architectural traditions are daily confronted with the difficulties of fulfilling their designs in contemporary institutional and technological contexts. Our current artistic and ideological environments are equally challenging: How can a place be made for precedented aspects of architectural expression, as rich and arbitrary as human languages, alongside compelling new approaches and forms?
This year’s Keynote lecture was delivered by Aric Lasher, President and Director of Design at HBRA Architects in Chicago, where his projects have included buildings for government, cultural, academic and public institutions, residential projects, landscapes, renovations and restorations of historic structures. Recent work includes Yale University’s Bass Library, renovations at the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, The University of Notre Dame’s new Jenkins & Nanovic Halls, and renovation of Northwestern University’s iconic Deering Library. His interest in the evolution and planning of building ensembles is explored in his book, Plans of Chicago, which considers the legacy of planning innovation and the future of the city from an analytical and urban historical perspective. Mr. Lasher graduated from the College of Architecture, Art & Planning at Cornell in 1984 and has a Master of Fine Arts in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In addition to his work in architecture he has designed sets for numerous films including Minority Report, Pearl Harbor and What Dreams May Come. Aric’s professional affiliations include the Society of Midland Authors, the Art Directors’ Guild, the Society for College and University Planning, The Mies van der Rohe Society and the Society of Architectural Historians, where he serves on the Board of Directors. Mr. Lasher is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
*Title of an essay by Simon Leys, from the collection The Hall of Uselessness
“Reflections on the Classical Past: A Vision for the Future”
Bulfinch Awards Morning Lecture by Christine G.H. Franck
Christine G.H. Franck is the founding Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture (CARTA) at the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture & Planning, as well as a designer, educator, and author. Her design work ranges from award-winning residential design to preservation, landscape, and decorative projects. In addition, she teaches, lectures, and writes on the topics of architectural design, contemporary and historic Classical architecture and American domestic architecture. She has developed, directed, and administered programs for institutions such as the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) and The Prince of Wales’s Foundation and held teaching appointments from the schools of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Before establishing her own practice to focus on design and education, she interned with the offices of Allan Greenberg, Architect and served as the first Executive Director of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. She currently serves as Chair of INTBAU USA and trustee of the National Civic Art Society. Her work has been honored with numerous awards, including for preservation, new design, and the prestigious Palladio and Clem Labine Awards. All aspects of her work are ethically focused on improving the built environment and quality of life of all individuals.
Eighth Bulfinch Awards Gala and Ceremony
The ICAA’s national awards program, inaugurated in 1982 as the Arthur Ross Awards was a model for the New England chapter’s regional awards program, initiated in 2010 and named for New England’s most famous architect (and America's first native born architect), Charles Bulfinch. This year, the chapter continued to expand the scope for entries from work in New England by firms in New England to work in New England by firms from around the United States. The winners of the Bulfinch Awards were recognized at a ceremonial reception and dinner gala in the Harvard Hall at the Harvard Club of Boston, designed by Parker, Thomas & Rice.
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Discovering an American Masterpiece in a Beacon Hill Basement
In celebration of Boston Design Week
The New England Chapter of the ICAA gathered at Trefler's on April 5th in celebration of Boston Design Week to hear interior designer Heidi Pribell's adventures in stumbling upon a mantelpiece in a pile of rubble in the basement of a client’s Boston brownstone. The marble structure was about to be hauled off, but Pribell recognized it as something exquisite. Pribell’s research of the caryatid mantelpiece led her to encounter fascinating personalities from America’s first generation of citizens. These included the Cambridge-born visionary Thomas Appleton (1763-1840), a member of Jefferson’s inner circle, who designed the mantelpiece. Appleton was intent upon defining an “American Aesthetic” and Pribell makes a compelling case for him as America’s first art dealer.
Thursday, March 1
"An Elegant and Lofty Steeple" a lecture by Aaron M. Helfand, AIA
Recovering Peter Harrison's lost designs for the steeple of King's Chapel, Boston
In 1754, builders finished work on one of colonial Boston's most prominent landmarks: King's Chapel, designed by the famed architect Peter Harrison. But the building was far from complete: the most impressive feature of the original design was a steeple, intended to surpass any other in the city. Due to lack of funds, this was never built, leaving a square stump in its place. What's more, Harrison's papers were destroyed during the American Revolution, leaving subsequent generations to wonder what his steeple might have looked like. In this lecture, Helfand re-examined the historical evidence and combined 18th-century design principles with 21st-century technology to produce the most detailed vision of the missing steeple to date.
Tuesday, February 20
Lessons of "lost Providence," A lecture by David Brussat
The New England Chapter of the ICAA gathered at the The Algonquin Club of Boston to hear from Board Member David Brussat about his recent book "Lost Providence" - a History Press book documenting the history of architectural change in Providence. Based on a 2014 column called “Providence’s 10 best lost buildings” by Mr. Brussat, the book and its descriptions of buildings lost takes many detours to visit buildings that still exist, offering lessons in preservation.The book looks not just at lost buildings, but also lost plans since the 1840s — major urban projects, accomplished or not, that are disappearing from local memory, such as the Downtown Providence 1970 Plan, announced in 1960, or which are widely misunderstood, such as the College Hill Survey of 1959. Mr. Brussat’s description of the River Relocation Project and the Downcity Plan concludes the book on a note of confidence.
Saturday, December 9
Edgartown Walking Tour - In Celebration of the 'Christmas in Edgartown' Weekend Festival
Friends and members of the New England Chapter of the ICAA joined award-winning architect Patrick Ahearn on Saturday, December 9th, for a walking tour in historic Edgartown, as Patrick discussed the history of Martha’s Vineyard architecture and how the town of Edgartown has evolved over the years.
Tuesday, October 17
Member Cocktail Party
New England Chapter of the ICAA's members met at Seven Tide on Tuesday, October 17th to formally announce the 2018 Bulfinch Awards call for entries.
Friday, September 29, 2017
CHARLES LE BRUN AND THE IMAGE OF LOUIS XIV, A lecture by Dr. Wolf Burchard
The ICAA-New England partnered with David Neligan Antiques and the Boston Design Center for a lecture with Dr. Wolf Burchard on the topics addressed in his book, The Sovereign Artist: Charles Le Brun and the Image of Louis XIV. King Louis XIV’s favorite artist, Charles Le Brun, has often been described as a dictator of the arts in France. Le Brun was a gifted and versatile artist, an excellent painter and designer of tapestries, sculpture, architecture and furniture. As Louis XIV’s principal painter and director of the Gobelins manufactory, he sought to translate the Sun King’s claim for absolute power into a visual form. This lecture explored Le Brun’s different fields of activities and his relationship to the great monarch.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
A Walking Tour of Classic Bristol, Rhode Island
Tree lined streets with stately Federal and Greek Revival houses bear witness to Bristol’s storied past. This tour explored the work of architect Russell Warren, an important early American architect who adapted the classical tradition in innovative ways in both grand and modest designs. A native Rhode Islander, Warren worked in Bristol, Newport, Providence, New Bedford and developed a national practice, bringing him commissions as far as Charleston, South Carolina.
Saturday, April 26, 2017
Bulfinch Awards Morning Lecture
This year’s morning lecture "In the Footsteps of Vitruvius; Design and Construction Durability Lessons Learned from the Hands-on Study of Two Thousand Years of Historic Construction," by Matthew Bronski, P.E. was held at the Algonquin Club in Boston. This lecture derived from Bronski’s 2009-10 Rome Prize project, where his hands-on research of buildings in Italy spanning over 2,000 years diagnosed successes and failures in the durability attributable to design and detailing, to derive lessons and principles for designing buildings more durably (and hence more sustainably) today.
Saturday, April 26, 2017
Bulfinch Awards Keynote Lecture
This year’s Keynote Lecture, "Modern Principles of Classical Architecture Disproved by the Renaissance," was delivered at the Algonquin Club in Boston, by Duncan G. Stroik, a 2016 ICAA Ross Award winner, a practicing architect, an author, and Professor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. His award-winning work includes Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel in California, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wisconsin, and Saint Joseph Cathedral in South Dakota.
Saturday, April 26, 2017
Seventh Bulfinch Awards Gala and Ceremony
The winners of the Bulfinch Awards were recognized at a ceremonial reception and dinner gala in the Harvard Hall at the Harvard Club of Boston, designed by Parker, Thomas & Rice.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
The Continued Relevance of Classicism in Contemporary Design: A Roundtable Discussion
To celebrate Boston Design Week, the New England Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA-NE) partnered with the Boston Design Center (BDC) to host a panel that discussed the continued relevance of Classicism from the perspectives of Architecture, Interior Design, Urban Planning and Cognitive Science, where recent findings support the idea that people thrive in environments based upon classical design principles. Moderated by Eric Daum, the panelists were Oliver Bouchier, Ann Sussman, John Tittmann and Leslie-jon Vickory.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Lecture with Ann Sussman
Buildings, Biology +The 21st Century Paradigm Shift: How Biometrics will Change Understanding of the Architectural Experience
A lively group gathered at the College Club of Boston to hear Ann Sussman review new findings in biology and neuroscience that outline what our brain expects to see, including how it's hard-wired to avoid looking at blank facades, most quickly processes bilaterally symmetric things - and is preset to look for faces or face-like objects without any conscious input on our part. The lecture reviewed some biometric tools that can help us better understand our architectural experience. Ann explained that we’re now able - finally - to collect the hard data on how buildings make people feel.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Classical Newport: Exploring the 18th Century Landmarks of Newport Rhode Island
A memorable walking tour of Historic Hill and Point districts, led by NE Chapter board member and Architectural Historian John Tschirch explored the landmark public buildings, houses and streetscapes of Newport, one of the most historically intact 18th century cities in America.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Olmsted’s Muddy River Restored: Re-linking the Emerald Necklace
On a lovely early autumn day, attendees gathered on The Fens for a tour of the recently completed restoration of the Muddy River. The tour was guided by Margaret Dyson, Director of Historic Parks at the Boston Parks & Recreation Department.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Tour of New Haven and the Yale Center for British Art
This full-day tour, led by Aaron Helfand and David Lewis, focused on the architecture and urban design of downtown New Haven and Yale University. The tour began on the New Haven Green, with a discussion of the city's original nine-square plan and the growth of Yale's campus in relation to the city, followed by a visit to several landmark buildings and a trip to the Yale Center for British Art.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Board Member Cocktail Party at Marvin Showroom, 7 Tide Street Boston, MA
ICAA New England Chapter members enjoyed a fun night in an amazing space at 7Tide – with no shortage of good conversation and inspiration.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Rejuvenating a Colonial Era Landmark: Christ Church Cambridge
Saturday, April 23, 2016
6th Bulfinch Awards Ceremony Gala
Saturday, April 23, 2016
6th Bulfinch Awards Keynote Lecture by Justin Shubow
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Royal Oak Boston Lecture- The Grand(er) Tour: Architectural Imagination Beyond the Classical World
Abraham Thomas, Architectural Historian
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
William Hodgins Interiors: Lecture and Book-signing by Author Stephen M. Salny
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Historic Berkshire County: A guided expedition to 'The Mount' and 'Naumkeag'
Friday, March 27, 2015
Americans in Paris: Talk and Book-signing by Co-author Margot M. Ellis- Americans in Paris: Foundations of America’s Architectural Gilded Age, Architecture Students at the École des Beaux-Arts 1846-1946
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Cognitive Architecture: An Evening with Author Ann Sussman
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Landscape Architecture & Architecture of Wellesley College
Saturday, September 13, 2014