“Listening to the Land” with Renny Reynolds

On November 2nd the ICAA was delighted to welcome renowned landscape architect, horticulturalist, and event guru, Renny Reynolds, who presented a lecture entitled Listening to the Land. Over 70 ICAA supporters, members, and friends were in attendance, including Bunny Williams, Dan and Carol Strone, Denise LeFrak Calicchio, Helen Davis Chaitman, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Karen Pascoe, Tham Kannalikham, among others.

Renny spoke about how he first fell in love with Bucks County and decided to purchase 12 acres of land there in 1979. Since then he has expanded his property, called “Hortulus Farm,” to 100 acres. Hortulus Farm is open to visitors and features 26 biologically diverse gardens. Numerous winding paths connect the gardens, making the property accessible to a variety of tours and walks throughout the year.

An artist not only in the exterior landscape, Renny takes great pride and joy living in the property’s house, which was built in the 18th Century as the Isaiah Warner Farmstead. The house, which was designed in the Federal style, has received numerous additions, renovations, and restorations since its construction. However, Renny maintains many of its original features, including a walk-in fireplace and “original blue” walls – which were finished in the 18th Century using a blueberry-based stain. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

(Image Courtesy of Renny Reynolds)

(Image Courtesy of Renny Reynolds)

Hortulus Farm is also home to a variety of wildlife, including rescued horses. Black Australian Swans and Canadian Geese are some of the many birds that visit the farm, thanks to Renny’s and his partner Jack Staub’s efforts to foster wildlife on the property. Renny also spoke in great detail about his passion for the art of horticulture and how he uses plants to add pattern and structure to the landscape. The “French Garden” features a 15-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower, originally acquired in Europe.

(Image Courtesy of Renny Reynolds)

(Image Courtesy of Renny Reynolds)

Renny concluded his lecture with thoughts on his role as a “steward of the land.” His goal is to preserve Hortulus Farm so that the next generation can continue to enjoy the numerous gardens, multitude of wildlife, and historic structures within. To learn more about Renny Reynolds and Hortulus Farm, visit www.hortulusfarm.com.

Renny Reynolds with Bunny Williams

ICAA President, Peter Lyden, with Karen Pascoe, Dan Strone, Carol Strone, and Tham Kannalikham

Posted by Richard McGovern on | Leave a comment

Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Reaches for New Heights at Marymount School

For press inquiries, contact:
Richard McGovern, Marketing and Digital Communications Manager
(212) 730-9646 x 101 | rmcgovern@classicist.org

On Friday, November 13th, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) concluded the sixth week of its innovative middle school program, New Heights: Discovering Classical Architecture. A collaboration between the ICAA and Marymount School of New York, the 10-week program brings the ICAA’s mission of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture, urbanism, and the allied arts to 56 eighth grade students at Marymount, an independent Catholic girls’ school in New York City.

Working with ICAA educators, architects, architectural historians, and specialists, Marymount students engage in a dynamic study of classical architecture through meaningful observation, critical thinking, interactive studio experience, and guided field studies. During the first six weeks of the program, students visited sites in New York City, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, historic mansions of Fifth Avenue, and Marymount’s own Beaux-Arts building. In several hands-on sessions, students also learned about the traditional materials of architecture and experienced the process of pouring plaster with Adrian Taylor, Principal at Hyde Park Mouldings. Forthcoming trips will bring students to the surrounding neighborhood of the School and to the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.

“The New Heights program has helped Marymount School students make connections between the architecture in their own city, their own neighborhood, and even their own school. It has also introduced them to a shared architectural language providing a rich context to understand how place and space impact human lives,” says Concepcion Alvar, Headmistress of Marymount School.

New Heights aims to familiarize students with the history of architecture, the role and responsibility of architects, and possible professional paths in a variety of architectural fields. The program’s carefully planned and rigorous curriculum endeavors to inspire a new generation to become leaders of architectural preservation and urbanism. “The goal of New Heights is to provide students with an architectural vocabulary, an understanding of composition and design, and an opportunity to consider a future career in architecture or the related arts,” says ICAA President, Peter Lyden.

Francis Morrone, New Heights instructor and Architectural Historian at New York University, says students and teachers alike are engaging in the program enthusiastically: “The Marymount girls are not only lively and inquisitive, which I expected, but they are astonishingly well prepared. I find the times I spend with them to be the thing I most look forward to in this very busy time of the year for me. The whole project, which has admittedly had a steep learning curve, has been better by far than I ever dreamed.”

Now in its seventh week, the program’s important role in educating students about career opportunities is also evident. “I relish the opportunity to assist these enthusiastic girls in discovering the inherent beauty and importance of Classical Architecture. I only wish I had gone through such a unique and inspiring program at that age,” says Michael Romero, a New Heights instructor who earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Romero is currently Executive Director at Atlas Collaborative Foundation, which helps to develop neglected urban areas.

The program’s title, New Heights, represents the ICAA’s objective to teach the next generation of students to take notice of the buildings and spaces that comprise their environment – from church steeples to classical mouldings and historic neighborhoods. While the program is designed for all students, its title also signifies the ICAA’s aspiration to bring more diversity, especially among women, to the field of architecture. After reviewing the inaugural program at Marymount, the ICAA aims to introduce the curriculum with lesson plans at other schools nationally.

New Heights classroom sessions and field studies are led by professionals in the fields of architecture and design, including Sarah Magness, Francis Morrone, Stephanie Mustian, Martin Brandwein, Liz McEnaney, Michael Romero, and Adrian Taylor.

The program will conclude on February 18th with an exhibition showcasing the students’ final projects at Marymount School.

Marymount School of New York
Marymount School of New York is an independent Catholic day school that seeks to educate young women who are prepared to challenge, shape, and change the world. For more information, visit www.marymountnyc.org.

Institute of Classical Architecture & Art
The ICAA is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts through education, publications, awards, and advocacy. For more information, visit www.classicist.org.

Instructor Sarah Magness leads a field study of the buildings of Marymount School
(photo credit: Tobias Everke)

Instructor Sarah Magness leads a field study of the buildings of Marymount School
(photo credit: Tobias Everke)

Liz McEnaney (photo credit: Jillian Pagliocca)

Instructor Liz McEnaney leads a field study of the classical mansions of Fifth Avenue
(photo credit: Jillian Pagliocca)

Francis Morrone (photo credit: Jillian Pagliocca)

Instructor Francis Morrone leads a field study of the buildings of Marymount School
(photo credit: Jillian Pagliocca)

Michael Romero (photo credit: ICAA)

Instructor Michael Romero introduces students to the classical elements of architecture
(photo credit: ICAA)

Michael Romero (photo credit: ICAA)

A student decorates a column during Michael Romero’s class
(photo credit: ICAA)

Students at work (photo credit: ICAA)

Students at work (photo credit: ICAA)

Michael Romero (photo credit: ICAA)

A student presents her decorated column to her classmates (photo credit: ICAA)

Posted by Richard McGovern on | Leave a comment

Upcoming Nationwide Continuing Education Courses at the ICAA

Register for upcoming ICAA Continuing Education courses, taking place in New York and through our regional chapters.


November 21 | The Elements of Classical Architecture: Drawing the Doric Order


December 5 | The Engineering of Ornamented Walls 

December 14-15 | Introduction to Classical Elements: The Tuscan Order


December 12 | Designing the Classical Interior
(email charlotteclassicist@yahoo.com with questions about the class or registration)

Posted by Richard McGovern on | Leave a comment

Monthly Newsletter: November 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.

Peter’s Reflections

Five Unforgettable Classical Homes of the Great American South

Courtesy of: Historical Concepts

Peter Lyden celebrates classical residential architecture of the American South
with five unforgettable examples from the 19th Century through the present day.


Support the ICAA This Holiday Season
Double the Impact of Your Gift 

The ICAA has truly come a long way, offering distinctive and affordable education programming in partnership with our chapters nationwide. However, our initiatives are only possible thanks to your assistance and generosity. Please consider making a gift to support scholarships, tuition assistance, and unique educational opportunities at the ICAA.

An anonymous donor is generously matching end-of-year donations up to $35,000, which will double the impact of your gift.


Travel Programs
Upcoming Dates & Destinations 

Photo: wikimedia.org*

APRIL 23 – MAY 1, 2016 Private Portugal

MAY 5-8, 2016 Classical Charlottesville

MAY 11-18, 2016 Villas & Gardens of the Italian Lake Region

MAY 13-22, 2016 Tangier, Taroudant & Marrakech

JUNE 4-12, 2016 The French Riviera



Inspired Places & Spaces
Inspiration from ICAA Instructors 

We asked ICAA instructors, Rodrigo Bollat Montenegro and Manuel Mergal, to share with us the places and spaces they find most inspiring.







Winter Professional Intensive
Apply Now

Join the ICAA for our 2016 Winter Professional Intensive, January 2-9, 2016. This eight day program, with available AIA credit, fully immerses participants in a fast-paced and highly structured studio and working environment as they complete coursework in the foundational skills and principles of classical design.



Continuing Education
Upcoming Courses Nationwide 

Register for upcoming ICAA Continuing Education courses, taking place in New York and through our regional chapters, including Florida, Southeast, and Southern California.






Awards & Prizes
Upcoming Dates & Deadlines 

DECEMBER 2 New York: Stanford White Awards Reception

DECEMBER 11 Southeast: Philip Trammell Shutze Awards deadline

DECEMBER 15 New England: Bulfinch Awards deadline

JANUARY 8 National: Rieger Graham Prize extended deadline



News of Interest

Welcoming New Board Members
The ICAA welcomes three new members to its Board of Directors – Ankie Barnes, Pierre Crosby, and Mark Pledger. We also congratulate Barbara Eberlein, who was elected College of Chapters President, succeeding Tim Barber after three years of outstanding service to the ICAA and its chapters nationwide.


“Gaillard Concert Hall, Blessed by Yo-Yo Ma, Proves its Acoustical Mettle,” by The Post & Courier
The neo-classical Gaillard Center hosted its grand opening gala concert, featuring acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, on October 18th. The Gaillard Center, located in Charleston, SC, was designed by 2014 Arthur Ross Award winner, David M. Schwarz Architects.


“The 10 Stunning New York Interiors You’ve Probably Never Seen,” by Bloomberg Business
Drawing inspiration from the recently published book, Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York, Bloomberg Business takes a look at ten incredible interiors around the city. Nearly all are classical.






Posted by Richard McGovern on | Leave a comment

Five Unforgettable Classical Homes of the Great American South

The ICAA recently published the 12th edition of The Classicist, our annual academic journal featuring essays related to classical architecture, art, and a selection of extraordinary professional and academic portfolios. The submission deadline for The Classicist No. 13, November 30th, is fast approaching, and this latest volume will feature content exploring the deep legacy of classicism in the architecture and urbanism of the American South. As an admirer of traditional Southern architecture, I am especially excited by this theme.

Inspired by the forthcoming issue of The Classicist and in celebration of the Great American South, I bring to you five extraordinary houses: The Big House on Hampton Island, GA; Oatlands Plantation in Leesberg, VA; Poplar Forest in Forest, VA; The Burn in Natchez, MS; and Roper House in Charleston, SC.

This collection pays tribute to Southern architecture at its finest, illustrating the diverse application and evolving practice of the classical tradition with examples from the 19th Century and the present day. It is especially important that we celebrate, in all our endeavors, the contemporary work of our members and affiliates who continue to demonstrate the essential role of classicism in our built environment.


The “Big House” on Hampton Island, Georgia   

My favorite example of Southern Contemporary Classicism is the Big House, built on Hampton Island in South Georgia. It was designed by Historical Concepts – an ICAA Member Firm based in New York and Atlanta – in the Greek Revival style with perfect proportion and symmetry.

The Big House, Courtesy of Historical Concepts

Big House owes its design inspiration to numerous historic homes throughout the American South, such as Magnolia Plantation in Eastover, SC.

Magnolia Plantation in Eastover, SC, Courtesy of Historical Concepts

Brick Walkway at the Big House, Courtesy of Historical Concepts

In the Antebellum South, waterways served as primary roads to island plantations, and the Big House is no exception. It boasts a stunning panoramic view of the North Newport River. The brick walkway leads from the Big House to oyster shell paths, flanked by live oaks on the river’s edge.

The Big House Interior, Courtesy of Historical Concepts

Among the most striking features of the Big House are its windows, which are framed by marvelous Greek Revival style tapered architraves.


Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Virginia

Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, VA is a true architectural gem. Designed by Architect George Carter in the Federal Style, Oatlands was constructed in 1803 and is today a National Historic Landmark.

Oatlands Plantation, Courtesy of fotomaps.ru

As a young man, I had the good fortune of spending time at Oatlands Plantation with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who said it was one of her most beloved houses, as well. We both grew up fox hunting, and we came to Oatlands for a “Meet of the Hounds.” I have also participated in the Loudoun Hunt Point to Point Race, which is hosted annually at Oatlands. As with all point to points, the racing was an adventure, but when I finished, I was thrilled to return to the comforts and luxury of Oatlands.

Oatlands Interior and Gardens, Courtesy of pinterest.com

Oatlands’ interiors are flawless, full of rich, decorative detail. The gardens are also magnificent and tranquil – a must-see for any visitor to this historic Southern plantation house.


Poplar Forest in Forest, Virginia

I don’t blame Thomas Jefferson for escaping from Monticello where his guests and many relatives came calling unannounced. He designed Poplar Forest as a private retreat, working on it from 1806 until his death twenty years later. Of Poplar Forest, Jefferson wrote: “I have fixed myself comfortably, keep some books here, bring others occasionally, am in the solitude of a hermit, and quite at leisure to attend to my absent friends.”

Poplar Forest, Courtesy of poplarforestarchaeology.com

A trained lawyer, Jefferson’s greatest intellectual energies and original talents were devoted to architecture. Like Monticello, Poplar Forest is known for its signature Palladian style. It is a masterpiece in a bucolic setting, and is today a National Historic Landmark.


The Burn in Natchez, Mississippi  

After reading Pilgrimage: A Tale of Old Natchez, written by my friend Collier Calandruccio’s grandmother, I made my own pilgrimage to Natchez, Mississippi. I stayed at The Burn, the very house in which the book’s author, Louise Collier, once resided.

The Burn, Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

Built in 1834, The Burn served as a hospital for the Union Army, thanks to its spacious interior rooms, and it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, The Burn is immaculately preserved and operates as a bed & breakfast. It is the perfect destination for anyone seeking peace, quite, and a little Southern hospitality.


Roper House in Charleston, South Carolina   

Roper House was built in 1838 in the 19th Century Greek Revival style for a prominent cotton planter and is today part of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT) – a non-profit founded by Richard H. Jenrette. CAHPT, an organization with which the ICAA collaborates frequently, is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and opening to the public examples of classical American residential architecture.

Roper House’s most conspicuous feature is its impressive scale. Tremendous two-story columns line the front of the house while, inside, ceilings are up to 18 feet tall.

Roper House, Courtesy of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and The Richard
Hampton Jenrette Foundation

The house’s architecture is also unique for Charleston, a town most widely recognized for its 18th Century Georgian-style houses.

Roper House Interior, Courtesy of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and The Richard Hampton Jenrette Foundation

Perched atop the High Battery, Roper House offers a spectacular view over Charleston’s harbor and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. It is no wonder HRH Prince Charles stayed there on his trip to Charleston!


Posted by Peter Lyden on | Leave a comment


The ICAA welcomes three new members to its Board of Directors – Ankie Barnes, Pierre Crosby, and Mark Pledger. We also congratulate Barbara Eberlein, who was elected College of Chapters President, succeeding Tim Barber after three years of outstanding service to the ICAA and its chapters nationwide.


Ankie Barnes
Anthony “Ankie” Barnes is a co-founder of Barnes Vanze Architects and a fellow of the AIA. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr. Barnes lived and worked in London and Guatemala prior to moving to the United States in 1981. He earned his B. Arch. from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and his M. Arch. from Yale University. Mr. Barnes is also President of the Board of the ICAA’s Washington Mid Atlantic Chapter and was a co-founder of the Leaders of Design Council. In recognition of his firm’s strong pro bono tradition, Barnes Vanze Architects was named AIA|DC and Washington Architectural Foundation’s Washington D.C. “Firm of the Year” in 2008.


Pierre Crosby
Pierre Crosby is the founding Principal of Uberto Construction, a leading New York City residential construction company. The firm’s work has been widely published, and in 2002, Uberto Construction was awarded the renovation of Gracie Mansion. Mr. Crosby is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Architecture.


Mark Pledger
A registered architect in New York and Florida, Mark Pledger is Studio Director at G.P. Schafer Architect. Mr. Pledger has worked with firms in New York, Rome, and London, including John Simpson & Partners, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Hart Howerton Architects. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, where he has also served as a guest critic, and has written for the ICAA’s academic journal, The Classicist.


Barbara Eberlein
Barbara Eberlein is President and Creative Director of Eberlein Design Consultants, Ltd. and President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the ICAA. She is a longtime professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Barbara graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Ancient History and Religion. In her role as College of Chapters President, Barbara will act as a liaison between the national office, Board of Directors, and all of the ICAA’s Chapters and Chapters-in-Formation.



Posted by Richard McGovern on | Leave a comment