Stuart Cohen FAIA and Julie Hacker FAIA receive Clem Labine Awards for 2022

by Nancy A. Ruhling | Sep 22, 2022

Whether historic or newly constructed, traditional-style buildings speak of the past and hold promise for a bright future.

But it’s the people behind the brick and mortar and clapboard—the architects, the interior designers, the landscape architects, the preservationists, the craftsmen—who have stepped in and stepped up to save or revitalize their heritage who also deserve some of the celebratory spotlight.

With that in mind, here are 25 of those individuals who have dedicated their careers to the classical style in myriad and outstanding ways that are serving as models around the globe. 

Here are two of the 25 individuals who have dedicated their careers to the classical style in myriad and outstanding ways that are serving as models around the globe.

Preservation proponents Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker have been giving a voice to traditional residential architecture for the nearly four decades they have been in practice in their Chicago-based firm.

Hacker, a past preservation commissioner who rewrote the design and solar guidelines for historic houses in her hometown of Evanston, Illinois, as a member the city’s preservation commission, and Cohen, the current vice chairman of the commission, have played significant roles in saving historic structures throughout Chicago’s suburbs and providing guidance on their thoughtful renovation.

“We are committed to keeping the integrity of the original structure,” Hacker says. “If the integrity of the structure has been destroyed with bad remodels and bad additions, it is a challenge to reinvent what might have been taken out, to make something whole and have it look believable.”

In 1974, Cohen’s writings introduced the term and concept of “contextualism,” or building in a way that is compatible with a structure’s physical and cultural surroundings, into the field of architecture and preservation, and he was one of the first to oppose the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards directive that additions and modifications to landmark structures be visually different and distinguishable from the original building.

Their work remodeling historic homes as well as designing new traditional ones, documented in the 2009 tome Transforming the Traditional: The Work of Cohen & Hacker Architects, has become a model for architects around the country.

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