THE WITTENBERG HERITAGE focus of Architecture & Design Network discussion this evening at 6pm at Arkansas Arts Center

wittenberg-heritageIn 1919, young architects George Wittenberg and Lawson Delony co-founded the firm that would become, under the visionary leadership of George’s son Gordon, one of the largest, longest-lasting and most influential architectural firms in the state. During his thirty-year tenure (1952-1982) as head of Wittenberg Delony & Davidson Architects, the company had a significant role in the design of many city landmarks, winning more than thirty awards for its work. The Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded its most prestigious prize, the Gold Medal, to Gordon Wittenberg in recognition of his many contributions to the profession. In view of his outstanding contributions to the field, he was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an honor accorded a select few.

This evening (February 23) the Architecture and Design Network will feature Gordon Wittenberg in a program entitled THE WITTENBERG HERITAGE.  It begins at 6pm at the Arkansas Arts Center with a reception at 5:30pm preceding it.

Wittenberg will be joined by his colleagues in reflection on the firm’s nearly one hundred year history, a heritage that shaped spaces and places throughout the state and beyond. THE WITTENBERG HERITAGE a group presentation, chaired by Gordon Ducksworth, AIA, Senior Associate/Project Architect, Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson Inc. Architects, Little Rock, AR. Like other Architecture and Design Network (ADN) lectures, THE WITTENBERG HERITAGE is free and open to the public. The Architecture and Design Network (ADN), a non-profit organization, is supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Center, the Central Arkansas Section of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and friends in the community.

Historic Preservationists Honored by HPAA

hpaa awardsLast Friday, the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas presented the 2014 Arkansas Preservation Awards.

Ruth Hawkins, Ph.D. of Jonesboro received the Parker Westbrook Award for Lifetime Achievement.  Named in honor of the Alliance’s Founding President, the Parker Westbrook Award recognizes significant individual achievement in historic preservation. It is the Alliance’s only award for achievement in preservation over a period of years. The award may be presented to an individual, organization, business or public agency whose activity may be of local, statewide or regional importance.

As director of the Arkansas Heritage Sites program at ASU, Dr. Hawkins has the  responsibility for development of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center at Piggott, the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum at Tyronza, the Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village and the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash.   She also is executive director of Arkansas Delta Byways, Inc., a tourism promotion association serving 15 counties in Eastern Arkansas. The association manages and promotes two National Scenic Byways in the region:  the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and the Arkansas segment of The Great River Road.

Other awards were:

Excellence in Preservation through Rehabilitation 

  • William F. Laman Public Library, North Little Rock
  • Dempsey Bakery, Little Rock

 

Excellence in Preservation through Restoration

  • Beth El Heritage Hall, Helena

Ned Shank Award for Outstanding Preservation Publication

  • Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950 by Gordon Wittenberg and Charles Witsell. Published by University of Arkansas Press

 

Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Advocacy

  • Scott Darwin, Jonesboro. For the V.C. Kays House.

 

Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Education

  • Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail

 

Outstanding Service in Neighborhood Preservation

  • Jennifer Carman and Donna Thomas, Little Rock. Rehabilitation projects in the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District.

 

Outstanding Work by a Craftsperson

  • Clancy McMahon. A. R. Carrol Drugstore, Canehill

 

Outstanding Preservation Reporting in the Media

  • Rex Nelson, Little Rock. Coverage of the historic Majestic Hotel and downtown Hot Springs

 

The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas works to build stronger communities by reconnecting Arkansans to our heritage and empowering Arkansans to save and rehabilitate historic places.
As Arkansas’s only statewide nonprofit organization focused on preserving Arkansas’ architectural and cultural resources, the Alliance has been educating,
advocating and assisting preservation efforts across Arkansas since 1981. From educating lawmakers to assisting individual property owners, the Alliance
is committed to protecting the many valuable heritage resources that make our state unique. The Alliance’s numerous educational programs include the
quarterly Arkansas Preservation Digest, the annual Arkansas Preservation Conference and the Ramble tours of historic sites. The Alliance has effectively
advocated for public sources of preservation funding and incentives, such as the Real Estate Transfer Tax and the Arkansas Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.

The Alliance assists local governments and historic downtown communities through administration of the federal Preserve America program in Arkansas
and participation in the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program’s Main Street Arkansas program—programs which promote historic preservation and heritage
tourism as economic development tools. We hope that you will support the Alliance in these efforts by becoming a member and staying informed of our
many programs and events which enhance the sustainability and quality of life in Arkansas.

Architects of Little Rock the focus of June’s Legacies & Lunch

Architects of LR bookCharles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg, retired principals of Little Rock architecture firms and co-authors of the newly released Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950, will discuss Little Rock’s architectural history at Legacies & Lunch on Wednesday, June 4, noon-1 p.m. in the CALS Main Library’s Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street.

Witsell and Wittenberg are retired principals of WER Architects/Planners (Witsell, Evans and Rasco) and WD&D (Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson). Architects of Little Rock: 1833-1950 profiles thirty-five architects, including George R. Mann, Thomas Harding, Charles L. Thompson, and more. Famous buildings such as the Arkansas State Capitol, St. Andrews Cathedral, the Pulaski County Court House, Central High School, and Robinson Auditorium are showcased as well. Copies of the book will be available for purchase; Wittenberg and Witsell will sign copies after their talk.

Legacies & Lunch, the Butler Center’s monthly lecture series, is free, open to the public, and supported in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Programs are held from noon-1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided. For more information, contact 918-3033.

Book on LR Architects celebrated tonight

Architects of LR bookTonight, the Historic Arkansas Museum will be hosting a lecture and book signing for the recently released Architects of Little Rock: 1833–1950, penned by Little Rock architects, Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg.

The evening will begin at 5:30 with a special presentation and lecture discussing the book. Speakers will include Bill Worthen, Historic Arkansas Museum; Tom Adams, WD&D; John Greer, WER Architects/Planners; Bobby Roberts, Central Arkansas Library and a special presentation will be given by Wesley Walls, President AIA Arkansas.

A reception and book signing will begin immediately following the lecture. All are invited to attend this special evening. “There are many ways of knowing the built environment. In their Architects of Little Rock, Mr. Witsell and Mr. Wittenberg explore the always complex relationship between buildings and the visionary thinkers—sometimes ordinary craftsman— who produced them. In so doing, they not only have uncovered the design rationales and circumstances of production that influenced a wide spectrum of Little Rock architecture but moreover have written a significant work of architectural scholarship that addresses the history of the architect’s profession,” Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, architectural historian and professor of architecture, University of Arkansas.

Architects of Little Rock: 1833–1950, is being released this month. The book is co-written by Little Rock architects, Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg and edited by Marylyn Jackson Parins. Architects of Little Rock provides biographical and historical sketches of the architects at work in Little Rock from 1833 to 1950. It is the story of the people behind the city’s most important buildings. Thirty-five architects are profiled, including George R. Mann, Thomas Harding, Charles L. Thompson, Max F. Mayer, Edwin B. Cromwell, George H. Wittenberg, Lawson L. Delony, and others. Famous buildings, including the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Old State House, the Arkansas State Capitol, St. Andrews Cathedral, Little Rock City Hall, the Pulaski County Court House, Little Rock Central High School and Robinson Auditorium are showcased, bringing attention to and encouraging appreciation of the city’s historic buildings.

Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg are retired principals of the Little Rock architecture firms WER Architects/Planners (Witsell, Evans and Rasco) and WD&D (Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson), respectively.