Americans in Florence: Breakfast & Books Lecture with Michael G. Imber

On September 28, the ICAA offered the third event of the Breakfast & Books series, organized in collaboration with the Rizzoli Bookstore. On Wednesday morning the renowned architect Michael G. Imber spoke about Americans in Florence and how their experience among the Tuscan landscape was essential to a new American understanding of landscape and nature.


Michael G. Imber delivers Breakfast & Books lecture

As Imber described, in the early 1800s American artists idealized nature as a place of calm; however, after the Civil War this relationship changed and people started looking to Europe for a model of sophistication and innovation. Imber focused primarily on American artist John Singer Sargent, painter of the famous portrait “Madame X,” whose work is a valuable example of this European inspiration. Born in Florence, he spent most of his life in Europe where he was influenced by French Impressionism and the Tuscan landscape. His beautiful watercolors, inspired by the colors and light of the Tuscan hills, set a new American model of painting nature. Imber described it as an “impression of the spirit of a place” opposed to a snapshot that simply captures the space.


This model is also very important in an architect’s work, where sketching becomes a way to understand the landscape and how it interacts with the architecture. Imber talked about his own personal experience with watercolor and how his sketches embed the landscape into his mind, becoming part of who he is as a person and as an architect. Imber concluded his talk by saying that many of these American artists in Europe and Tuscany changed both the way we look at the landscape today and, most importantly, the way “we wish to make the connection between the visual world and the response to architecture.”


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Introduction to Traditional Urbanism

Follow the ICAA’s blog for more on our 2016 Fall Continuing Education Courses and feel free to email the Education Department at with any inquiries.


Instructor Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro points out features of a nearby facade


On September 17 & 18, the ICAA offered a weekend workshop on traditional urbanism. Instructors Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro and Michael Gellar introduced students to the basic elements of traditional urbanism and how classical architecture affects the inhabitants of traditional cities. The course highlighted how different urban spaces influence city life and conversely, how city life influences the myriad spaces that make up the city.


A student sketching her surroundings during the group walking tour


Saturday, the students spent the first half of the day in the classroom defining a traditional city and its spatial and building typologies. The understanding of the public versus private space was particularly important to the concept of the traditional city and the reciprocity of influence between the city dweller and their environment.




Students stop to sketch a courtyard near Rockefeller plaza


A collection of students’ courtyard plans from their walking tour

The latter half of the day involved sketching exercises that reinforced the principles of urban design. After completing in-class sketching exercises, the group went on a walking tour of Rockefeller Plaza and St. Patrick’s Cathedral Area, where they began to see the lessons learned earlier that day exemplified in the city and reflected in their sketches of the city.


On Sunday, students continued their walking tours in Greenwich Village and the Financial District. By learning about the traditional urban space through the exploration of one of the world’s most iconic and historic cities, students were able to understand the basic principles of traditional urbanism in a unique and inspired way.


If you missed the opportunity to sign up for the course, and would like to attend in a subsequent session, keep your eye on our Continuing Education Curriculum schedule for more courses on Traditional Urbanism. To learn more about, and register for the ICAA’s other upcoming courses, please visit our website:

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Classicist Professional Portfolios


Historical Concepts
Verandah House, Richmond Hill, GA
(Attic Fire Photography)

Jones & Boer Architects
Locust Hill Residence, McLean, VA
(Robert Lautman)

D. Stanley Dixon Architect 
Winchester House, Atlanta, GA

Harrison Design
Butler Lake Residence, St. Simons Island, GA
(Photo: Richard Leo Johnson)

Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects
Vandalia, Outside Shepherdstown, WV
(Photo: Andrew Lewis, AIA)

James S. Collins Architect
Olin Residence, Greensboro, NC
(Photo: Impact Photography)

Norman Davenport Askins Architect
Federal Farmhouse, Atlanta, GA
(Photo: Susan Sully)

G. P. Schafer, Architect
Boxwood, Nashville, TN
(Photo: Jonathan Wallen)

Jeffrey Dungan Architects
Ruffer Residence, Lake Martin, AL
(Photo: Emily Followill)

Pursley Dixon Architecture
Equestrian Estate, Rutherfordton, NC
(Photo: Pursley Dixon Architecture)

William B. Litchfield Residential Designs
Tuxedo Road, Atlanta, GA
(Photo: Brian Gassell Photography)

Bobby McAlpine of McALPINE
A Family Home, Birmingham, AL
(Photo: Mali Azima)

Bill Ingram Architect
Miller Residence, Lake Martin, AL
(Photo: Chris Luker)

Court Atkins Group
Palmetto Bluff Cottage / Design Studio, Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC
(Photo: John McManus)

Laura Howard, Architect
Architect’s Residence, Atlanta, GA
(Photo: James R. Lockhart)

New World Byzantine: Andrew Gould, George Holt
Infill Housing, Charleston, SC
(Photo: Andrew Gould )

Moser Design Group
Low Country Cottage, Beaufort, SC
(Photo: Arturo Rodriguez)

Michael Rouchell
Two-Family House, New Orleans, LA
(Photo: Michael Rouchell)

Allison Ramsey Architects, Inc.
3 Canton Row, Habersham, SC
(Photo: Sebastian Polanski)

Ken Tate Architect
The Hay Residence Barn, Somerset, Kentucky
(Photo: Timothy Dunford )

James F. Carter – Architect 
 A Stable at Sedgefields Plantation , Union Springs, AL
(Photo: Jean Allsopp Photography)

Brown Design Studio
Mansion Flat Duplexes, Beaufort, SC

Sommer Design Studios, Jeremy Sommer AIA
East Beach Residences, Norfolk, VA

McCrery Architects
Saint Mary Help of Christians Church, Aiken, SC
(Photo: Steve Bracci)

Gary Justiss Architect
Blount Springs Chapel, Blount Springs, AL
(Photo: David Haynes)

Town Planning: DPZ Architects and Planners, Design Architect: Gary Justiss,
Architect of Record: Turner Batson Architects
Town planning, building for new mixed-use development, Hampstead, AL

Franck & Lohsen Architects, Inc.
Walnut Grove, A Neo-traditional Neighborhood Development, Lake Charles, LA
(Paul Hester © Hester + Hardaway Photographers Fayetteville, TX)

Glavé & Holmes Architecture
Christopher Newport Hall, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia
(Photo: Ashley Oaks-Clary)

Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Inman Admissions Welcome Center, Elon University, Elon, NC
(Photo: Peter Aaron / OTTO)

Christian Sottile, Sottile & Sottile and Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
The Cay Building, Savannah, GA
(Photo: Steve Mouzon)

Design Schematics – Geoffrey Mouen, Eric Moser, Kenneth Hitchens,
Eric Brown, Steve Hand, and Steve Mouzon
Bridge Street Condos, Pike Road, AL
(Photo: Chris Luker)

David M. Schwarz Architects
Gaillard Center, Charleston, SC

Nequette Architecture & Design
Cahaba Valley Fire Station No. 183, Mt. Laurel, Birmingham, AL
(Photo: Chris Luker)

Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Ocean Course Clubhouse, Kiawah Island, SC
(Photo: Peter Aaron / Otto for Robert A.M. Stern Architects)

Summerour and Associates Architects, Inc.
Frederica Boathouse, St. Simons Island, GA

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Monthly Newsletter: July at the ICAA

Welcome to our monthly newsletter, including articles, news, and programming from the ICAA and the classical design community. To receive an email version of our newsletter, sign up today.

scotlandIn his latest blog story, ICAA President Peter Lyden recounts the architecturaland intellectual enlightenment he and other guests experienced on the ICAA’s Great Houses & Gardens of Scotland travel program.



Your Support is Needed
A Message from ICAA Student Scholarship Recipient Fay Edwards

Please take a moment to read this important message from ICAA student scholarship recipient, Fay Edwards, and consider making a donation today. Your support will help to make ICAA educational programming accessible to all students regardless of financial background.



Travel with the ICAA to France, South Africa, New York, and More
Upcoming Dates & Destinations

Château de Cheverny in the Loire Valley (Image Credit: Benh Lieu Song / Flickr)

SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 2 Chicago’s North Shore (sold out)

OCTOBER 15-22 Private Chateaux of the Loire Valley

NOVEMBER 12-19 Private Houses & Gardens of South Africa

DECEMBER 1-4 Private New York

FEBRUARY (dates tbd) Barbados

MARCH (dates tbd) Sonoma & Napa Valleys



Inspiration from our Rome Drawing Tour

The ICAA hosted its annual Rome Drawing Tour from June 5-11, led by watercolorist Alexander Creswell; Ben Bolgar of the Prince’s Foundation; and University of Notre Dame Professor, Selena Anders.

Participants on the drawing tour captured their experiences through daily blog updates and photos of the architectural sites they visited, as well as the work they produced.



2017 Winter Intensive
Scholarship Opportunities Available 

This eight-day program fully immerses participants in a fast-paced studio environment as they complete coursework in the foundational skills and principles of classical design. Classroom hours are balanced between studio work, lectures, guided tours and site visits.

Standard Tuition: $1895 | Member Tuition: $1795 | Student Tuition (with valid ID): $995

Scholarship opportunities are available for qualifying students.



2016 Summer Studio in Classical Architecture
Weekly Round-Up of Blogs & Video



Continuing Education
Upcoming Courses Nationwide 

Learn more about upcoming Continuing Education opportunities nationwide, including New York, Philadelphia, Ohio & Lake Erie, and more. 



Lectures, Tours & Events
Upcoming Programs in New York

Explore upcoming public programs, including:

SEPTEMBER 15 An Ideal Collaboration: The Art of Classical Details, Lecture & Book Signing with Phillip J. Dodd

SEPTEMBER 24 Harkness House Tour

OCTOBER 6 From Formality to Fantasy: Russell Page’s Private Gardens in Normandy, with Eric Haskell

OCTOBER 15 Open House New York

NOVEMBER 10 Edith Wharton and the Villas of Rome, with CeCe Haydock



Awards & Prizes
Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

August 5 Philadelphia: Trumbauer Awards – Submission Deadline

August 19 Chicago-Midwest: Acanthus Awards – Submission Deadline

October 3 New York: Stanford White Awards – Submission Deadline

December 9 National: Alma Schapiro Prize for a three-month fellowship at the American Academy in Rome – Application Deadline



In the News

 A model of Palladio’s Villa Rotonda in Timothy Richards's workshop (Image Credit: Christie's)

A model of Palladio’s Villa Rotonda in Timothy Richards’s workshop (Image Credit: Christie’s)

“Make Me a Super Model” by Christie’s
Learn how 2013 Arthur Ross Award winner, Timothy Richards, creates exquisitely accurate plaster models of some of the world’s most renowned architecture. What set him on this chosen path? Growing up outside of Bath, England, a city renowned for its Georgian architecture.


Upcoming Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Issue to Focus on Historic Preservation and Architecture
We asked Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Editor in Chief, Elizabeth Ralls, to offer her insight on the current preservation climate in Atlanta and perspective on one of the August issue’s main stories: Redland, a Shutze Award-winning renovation project by Frederick Spitzmiller of Spitzmiller & Norris.







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Upcoming ‘Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ issue to focus on historic preservation and architecture


“Redland” in Columbus, GA, renovated by architect Frederick Spitzmiller
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles will soon release its August issue, which will focus on historic preservation and architecture. We asked Editor in Chief, Elizabeth Ralls, to offer her insight on the current preservation climate in Atlanta and perspective on one of the August issue’s main stories: Redland, a Shutze Award-winning renovation project by ICAA member architect Frederick Spitzmiller.

“Everyday is an opening day”; “A phoenix is rising from the ashes.” When it comes to Atlanta, both old and new, economic development-approved mottos have been constructed to symbolize the rhythmic pattern of newness and reinvention to which our burgeoning city has grown so accustomed.

That sense of eternal optimism, of course, has served us well from the outside looking in. (Look who just landed Super Bowl LIII!) The flip side, however, is that this kind of philosophy, by default, also begets destruction.

Recent demolitions include a Philip Trammel Shutze-designed home in Buckhead; the four-columned facade of Ansley Park’s Craigie House, built in 1911 for the nation’s second Daughters of the American Revolution chapter; and the 1929 Tudor Revival estate, Glenridge Hall, where even a listing on the National Register of Historic Places could not offer protections from economic development.

Thankfully, however, Atlanta counts itself fortunate to have organizations such as the Southeast Chapter of the ICAA, to both advocate for and foster appreciation of classical architecture as well as complementary disciplines including craftsmanship, interior design, landscape architecture, artists and more.

Each year, the ICAA Southeast Chapter pays homage to our city’s most prolific and renowned architect, Philip Trammel Shutze, with an esteemed awards ceremony held in his honor. In the August issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, we are thrilled to feature one former Shutze Award winner, Frederick Spitzmiller’s antebellum home, Redland. In this issue, we head to Columbus, Ga., to explore the noted architect’s weekend retreat, which he lovingly restored following an extensive relocation of the historic home that required sawing the house to pieces. Ultimately, however, that relocation afforded him the architectural freedom to make the house comfortable, including creating a new kitchen, bathrooms and extra living space to host family and friends. Thanks to a mix of historic charm, modern updates and an idyllic setting, it’s the perfect marriage of form and function.

Elizabeth Ralls
Editor in Chief
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

To learn more about Frederick Spitzmiller’s remarkable renovation of Redland and to view additional photos, visit


The formal living room at Redland
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)


Doric columns, original to the classic home
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)


The spacious porch at Redland
(Image: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle / Erica George Dines)

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Your Support is Needed: A Message from ICAA Student Scholarship Recipient Fay Edwards


Dear Friends of the ICAA,

As a student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Urbanism, I am so grateful to have attended the 2016 Rome Drawing Tour, which would not have been possible without a student scholarship from the ICAA.


The ICAA’s Rome Drawing Tour was a transformative experience for me. This incredible program combined my interests in history, urbanism, drawing, and architecture seamlessly. The lessons imparted by the ICAA’s talented, passionate instructors have strengthened my technical abilities and design skills, which will be invaluable to my future professional and creative endeavors.


I look forward to one day supporting the ICAA’s scholarships so that other students may benefit from the same exposure to this type of immersive education. In the meantime, I hope that you will consider making a donation in support of ICAA student scholarships to make a difference in the life of a student like me.


Fay Edwards
ICAA Rome Drawing Tour Student Scholarship Recipient



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