Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2021 Award Winners

by SAH News | Apr 16, 2021

The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of the SAH Publication Awards and the SAH Award for Film and Video. The SAH Publication Awards honor excellence in architectural history, urban history, landscape history and historic preservation scholarship as well as architectural exhibition catalogues. The SAH Award for Film and Video is an annual award that was established in 2013 to recognize the most distinguished work of film or video on the history of the built environment.

The 2021 award recipients are listed below.

book covers

Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award

The Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award was established in 1949 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar. 

Nancy Steinhardt
Chinese Architecture: A History
Princeton University Press, 2019

Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award

Named for Antoinette Forrester Downing, this award recognizes excellence in a published work devoted to historical topics in preservation and honors her scholarship and recognition of the value of local inventories and surveys.

Diana S. Waite, Photographs by Gary David Gold
The Architecture of Downtown Troy: An Illustrated History
SUNY Press, 2019

Jeff Cody and Francesco Siravo
Historic Cities: Issues in Urban Conservation
Getty Conservation Institute, 2019

SAH Exhibition Catalogue Award

As architectural history exhibitions are able to address historical and critical questions in special ways, through the presentation of both documentation and artifacts to a diversified audience, so their catalogues have become distinctive vehicles for the expression of scholarship in architectural history. They remain as the substantial and enduring contribution after the life of the exhibition is spent. The SAH Exhibition Catalogue Award recognizes excellence in this form of scholarship and publication.

Martino Stierli and Vladimir Kulić
Toward A Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980
The Museum of Modern Art, 2018

Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Rami el Samahy
Imagining the Modern: Architecture and Urbanism of the Pittsburgh Renaissance
The Monacelli Press, 2019

Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award

The Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award was established by the SAH Board in 2005 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of landscape architecture or garden design. Named for SAH past president and landscape historian Elisabeth MacDougall, the award honors the late historian's role in developing this field of study. 

C.J. Alvarez
Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the US-Mexico Divide
University of Texas Press, 2019

Spiro Kostof Book Award

This award was established in 1993 in recognition of Spiro Kostof's extraordinarily productive and inspiring career. In the spirit of Kostof's writings, the award recognizes interdisciplinary studies of urban history that make the greatest contribution to our understanding of the growth and development of cities.

Zachary J. Violette
The Decorated Tenement: How Immigrant Builders and Architects Transformed the Slum in the Gilded Age
University of Minnesota Press, 2019

Founders’ Award

Established in 1970, the Founders’ Award recognizes an article published by an emerging scholar in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians that exhibits excellence of scholarship and presentation.

Etien Santiago
“Notre-Dame du Raincy and the Great War”
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 78, No. 4, December 2019

SAH Award for Film and Video

The SAH Award for Film and Video recognizes the most distinguished work of film or video on the history of the built environment. The most important criterion is the work’s contribution to the understanding of the built environment, defined either as deepening that understanding or as bringing that understanding to new audiences.


Made by Killian Doherty and Edward Lawrenson, 2018

The Society announced the award winners during the SAH 2021 Virtual Conference Awards Ceremony on April 15. SAH will begin accepting nominations for the 2021 Publication Awards and SAH Award for Film and Video in June 2020. For more information and to read the award citations, visit and

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610