Every year, the Society of Architectural Historians presents awards that recognize the most distinguished publications in architectural history, urban history, landscape history, preservation, and architectural exhibition catalogues. SAH also presents the Founders' Award for an outstanding JSAH article written by an emerging scholar in the previous two years. Nominations for the 2025 award cycle will open in June 2024.

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.

2023 Recipient:
Andrew Demshuk
Three Cities After Hitler: Redemptive Reconstruction Across Cold War Borders
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021
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Cities After Hitler cover

Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award

For some time, preservationists have been involved in investigating and evaluating the physical fabric of this country and other nations. In order to encourage further research and publication of research in this field, the Society of Architectural Historians has established an annual award for excellence in a published work devoted to historical topics in preservation. Named for Antoinette Forrester Downing, the award honors her scholarship and recognition of the value of local inventories and surveys.

2023 Recipient:
John Vinci, Editor – With Tim Samuelson, Eric Nordstrom, and Chris Ware
Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece
Alphawood Foundation, Distributed by University of Minnesota Press, 2021
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Reconstructing the Garrick cover

SAH Exhibition Catalogue Award

Architectural history exhibitions address historical and critical questions in special ways, through the presentation of both documentation and artifacts to a diversified audience. Exhibition 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. This award recognizes and encourages excellence in this form of scholarship and publication.

2023 Recipient:
Jean-Louis Cohen
Building a new New World: Amerikanizm in Russian Architecture
Yale University Press and Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2020
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2023 Honorable Mention:
Sean Anderson and Mabel O. Wilson, Editors
Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America
The Museum of Modern Art, 2021



Reconstructions cover

Spiro Kostof Book Award

This award was established in 1993 at the Society's annual meeting in Albuquerque, in recognition of Spiro Kostof's extraordinarily productive and inspiring career that was ended by his premature death in December 1991. In the spirit of Kostof's writings, the award will be given to interdisciplinary studies of urban history that make the greatest contribution to our understanding of the growth and development of cities.

2023 Recipient:
Michael J. Schreffler
Cuzco: Incas, Spaniards, and the Making of a Colonial City
Yale University Press, 2020
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Cuzco cover

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.

2023 Recipient:
Anatole Tchikine and Pierre de la Ruffinière du Prey
Francesco Ignazio Lazzari’s Discrizione della villa pliniana: Visions of Antiquity in the Landscape of Umbria
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2021
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Founders' JSAH Article Award

The Founders' Award is given annually for an article published by an emerging scholar in the preceding two years in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians that exhibits excellence of scholarship and presentation. For the purposes of this award, an "emerging scholar" is defined as someone under the age of 40 or within five years of the completion of a terminal degree at the time of submission of the article. Authors will be asked by the JSAH editor whether they are eligible, and if eligible, authors will be asked to submit a curriculum vitae.

Criteria for Award

  1. Publication in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians during previous two years (Articles from the December issue may be forwarded in galley form.) 
  2. Excellence of scholarship and presentation

Upon publication of each issue of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Founders' Award application materials are sent to all eligible JSAH authors. Those interested in being considered for this award are asked to submit a CV to the JSAH editor immediately upon receipt. 

2023 Recipient:
M. Wesam Al Asali, Dania González Couret, and Michael H. Ramage
“Beyond the National Art Schools: Thin-Tile Vaulting in Cuba after the Revolution”
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 80 No. 3, September 2021
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