Society of Architectural Historians Announces Recipients of 2018 Awards for Architectural Excellence

by SAH News | Sep 06, 2018

The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 SAH Awards for Architectural Excellence. Established in 2010, these awards recognize individuals for outstanding achievements in architectural practice and academic study. The 2018 winners include:

Award for Design, Leadership and Service
Cynthia Weese, FAIA
Founding Partner, Weese Langley Weese; Dean (1993-2005), School of Architecture, Washington University

Award for Design, Academics and Scholarship
Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA
Founder and Senior Partner, Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Dean (1998-2016), Yale School of Architecture

Award for Preservation Advocacy and Stewardship of the Built Environment
Harry Hunderman, FAIA and Deborah Slaton
Senior Principal and Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

The 2018 Awards for Architectural Excellence recipients will be recognized at the 9th annual SAH Awards Gala on Friday, November 2, 2018, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at The Arts Club of Chicago. The Awards Gala is the Society’s largest fundraising event of the year. Proceeds support the SAH educational programs and publications, including the award-winning Buildings of the United States book series and SAH Archipedia, an online encyclopedia of US architecture with peer-reviewed essays, photos, and maps for structures in all 50 states. The gala also benefits the restoration of the Society’s landmark headquarters in Chicago, the Charnley-Persky House, designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright (1891–1892).

This year’s SAH Awards Gala is co-chaired by Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, founder and president of Ross Barney Architects, and Philip Hamp, FAIA, president of Vinci Hamp Architects. WTTW producer Dan Andries will emcee the event, which will begin with the presentation of awards at 6:15 pm followed by a cocktail reception and silent auction at 7:00 pm. Tickets and event information are available at For sponsorship opportunities, contact Carolyn Garrett at or 312-573-1365.

Cynthia Weese, FAIA

Weese_credit-Steven-E-Gross_200x300Cynthia Weese, FAIA, is a founding partner of Weese Langley Weese, a distinguished Chicago architecture firm. She taught widely before becoming dean of the School of Architecture at Washington University in 1993 and has continued her practice since stepping down as dean in 2005.

Weese earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Sciences in 1962 and a Bachelor of Architecture in 1965, both from Washington University. She worked independently for several years before joining Joe Karr & Associates, a landscape architecture firm, in 1971. She returned to independent practice again in 1974, following two years at Harry Weese & Associates.

Since its founding in 1977, Weese Langley Weese has been involved in both new construction and adaptive reuse projects throughout the country. The award-winning firm has worked for many colleges and universities and has built hundreds of units of affordable housing. Recent work includes projects for the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

As the first female dean of the School of Architecture at Washington University, Weese initiated international study programs, introduced computer technology initiatives, and enhanced the technology and design curricula. She is a founding member of the School of Architecture’s National Council and currently serves as a member of the Sam Fox School National Council.

Weese’s work has won a number of AIA design awards and has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally. A fellow of the AIA since 1991, she has been awarded two Distinguished Service Awards from AIA Chicago, the Excellence in Education Award from AIA Illinois, and the Tao Sigma Delta Gold Medal in Architecture. In 2017 she was the inaugural recipient of the Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Weese has been active in many professional organizations throughout her career. She served two terms on the board of the Society of Architectural Historians, from 2011 to 2017, and currently serves on the board of the Charnley-Persky House, the landmark headquarters of SAH. She was president of AIA Chicago and a member and vice president of the national AIA board. Weese is a founding member of Chicago Women in Architecture and the Chicago Architectural Club, where she served as president, and she is a member of the Chicago Design Initiative, an advisory group to the city’s Department of Planning and Development.

Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA

RAMS_200x300Robert A.M. Stern, practicing architect, teacher, and writer, is a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and in 2017 received the Topaz Medallion, awarded jointly by the AIA and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in recognition of outstanding service to architectural education. Stern is the 2011 Driehaus Prize laureate and in 2008 received the tenth Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum. In 2007, he received both the Athena Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Board of Directors' Honor from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 2007 and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters since 2011.

As founder and Senior Partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, he directs the design of the firm's projects. His first major Chicago project, One Bennett Park, a luxury 70-story residential tower in the Streeterville neighborhood, is currently under construction. Stern’s addition to the Chicago skyline is nearing completion and will be the city’s tallest all-residential building.

Stern served as Dean of the Yale School of Architecture from 1998 to 2016; he was named J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture in 2000. Before returning to Yale, where he received his Master of Architecture degree in 1965, he was Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. He served from 1984 to 1988 as the first director of Columbia's Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. His books include Modern Classicism (1988); The Philip Johnson Tapes: Interviews by Robert A.M. Stern (2008); Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City (2013); Pedagogy and Place: 100 Years of Architecture Education at Yale (2016); and two volumes of collected writings. His interest in the development of New York City's architecture and urbanism is documented in his acclaimed five-volume New York series. In 1986 Stern hosted Pride of Place: Building the American Dream, an eight-part, eight-hour PBS documentary television series.

Harry Hunderman, FAIA and Deborah Slaton

SlatonHunderman2018A_300x200For the past three decades, Harry Hunderman, FAIA, and Deborah Slaton have developed a practice focused on the analysis, preservation, and repair of historic building and structures at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE). Through their longstanding shared interest in the application of technology to the conservation of the building environment, they have helped bring the resources of WJE’s multi-disciplinary architectural, engineering and materials science staff and in-house laboratories to problem-solving for a wide range of historic structures.

Through their leadership, the award-winning historic preservation practice at WJE has contributed to the stewardship of some of nation’s most notable historic buildings and monuments, including the Salk Institute, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Washington Monument, New York Public Library, national parks and historic sites from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Everglades, and the work of designers such as Louis Sullivan, Burnham and Root, Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Louis Kahn, and Minoru Yamasaki.

Hunderman and Slaton have held leadership positions in the Association for Preservation Technology International (of which both are Fellows), as well as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Historic Preservation Education Foundation. Because of their commitment to knowledge sharing, both have lectured and published extensively on preservation technology and have chaired several international conferences and symposia, including a series of conferences on preserving modern architecture. Slaton is co-author of two U.S. National Park Service preservation briefs and co-editor of several conference proceedings.

Hunderman and Slaton have also contributed to preservation advocacy efforts through the SAH Heritage Conservation Committee, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, AIA, DOCOMOMO, and Landmarks Illinois, among others.

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
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