The 2014 Heritage Award*
The Royal Oak Foundation
Institute of Classical Architecture & Art
Acceptance of the Award
Chairman of the Board Mark Ferguson
on behalf of the
Members of the ICAA
November 13, 2014
*The Heritage Award is “given in recognition of institutions or individuals in Britain or the United States that have substantially advanced the understanding and appreciation of our shared cultural heritage.” Previous Award Winners include Winterthur Museum and the Attingham Summer School.
Thank you for the privilege to be with you this evening. It is a pleasure to be in the company of so many who cherish architectural heritage and who work so hard to ensure its preservation for future generations.
The young architects who founded the ICAA 25 years ago were part of a movement to revive the art of classical architecture. By that time, the lingua franca of our profession had been lost to progressive ideologies. The loss diminished our ability to build well, especially within our towns and cities. We lost confidence in the power of existing buildings to inspire better buildings. We also lost the oldest and best way to learn design and its timeless principles. Today, the Institute works to reverse this loss by convening those who care about the built environment to promote literacy in classical architecture.
Our country’s history is rich in examples of inspiration drawn from great English architecture.
When George Washington built Mount Vernon, he turned to the pattern books of Batty Langley, that were popular among large landowners in the colonies.
The grace of our Federal period architecture can be attributed to the resources published by Robert Adam and William Pain.
The drawings of Greek antiquities by James Stuart and Nicholas Revett influence the designs of our stately 19th century public buildings.
Augustus Pugin and Walter Scott sparked our Gothic revival.
Queen Victoria’s beloved Osborne House gave rise to the Italianate period.
The architecture of Edwin Lutyens introduced the charm and comfort of English country houses to the architects leading the design of our new suburbs.
As architects practicing in the 21st century, we are extraordinarily grateful to the National Trust and the Royal Oak Foundation for not only protecting, but refreshing and enlivening many treasures of British architecture. The Institute seeks to raise both professional and public awareness of great treasures such as those you support.
For practicing architects and designers, we give courses in the principles of classical architecture, using the same language to be found in the great English pattern books of the past.
For the intellectually curious, our architectural literacy courses are popular. One sold-out seminar is taking place at our midtown headquarters as I speak.
Our travel program focuses on architectural heritage here and abroad. I recall the itinerary of my first extended visit to England—it was guided by the catalogue of National Trust properties. Not only did I visit the key monuments familiar from school lessons, but I discovered many new places previously unknown to me. I now consider these places essential to my development as an architect. My memories of that trip inspire my work to this day.
The Classicist is an engaging review of current scholarly work and a forum for the talents of contemporary architects, artists and artisans.
The Classical America Book series awards grants to research and develop topics in collaboration with leading publishing houses.
Our plaster cast collection, the core of which came from the Metropolitan Museum and…
from the great Yorkshire craftsman, Dick Reid, serves as an important resource for artists and architects.
Our members’ designs for attractive, low cost housing caught national attention after Hurricane Katrina.
We have produced pattern books for traditional neighborhoods designed to foster community spirit.
Our national Arthur Ross awards, named in honor of our late patron, recognize lifetime achievements in architecture, artisanship, and patronage.
Our eight regional awards recognize exemplary new projects across the nation and give rise to a competitive spirit that brings our community together.
For the young and upcoming architects and artists, we award three month fellowships at the American Academy in Rome for them to study, think, and create.
The Institute and the Royal Oak Foundation share a common heritage and similar values. You and your mission are an inspiration to us. On behalf of our members, our board of directors and our president, Peter Lyden, I am honored to accept the recognition you have bestowed upon us today.