Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Architect in The Community: Part 3 Stanford Britt, FAIA

Stanford Britt, FAIA, who studied in Philadelphia and also worked in DC is now calling Baltimore his chose home, has been an activist for a long time.
In 2004 the Board of Directors of the same AIA named Stanford R. Britt, FAIA, the recipient of the 2005 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award.

Established in 1972, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award has honored architects and organizations that embody the profession’s proactive social mandate through a range of commitments, including affordable housing, inclusiveness, and universal access. The award is named after the civil rights–era head of the Urban League who confronted—head-on—the AIA’s absence of socially progressive advocacy at the 1968 AIA National Convention.
“You are not a profession that has distinguished itself by your social and civic contributions to the cause of civil rights. You are most distinguished by your thunderous silence and your complete irrelevance.”
Britt’s professional commitment to serving those less fortunate began as a co-operative student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. There Britt worked for the Young Great Society, a community-based organization committed to renovating vacant houses and developing vacant lots in low-income communities. Continuing his education at Columbia University, Britt worked with the Architects Renewal Committee of Harlem (ARCH) introducing area high school students to the profession of architecture and providing counsel to young people working toward their General Education Diploma.
In 1972, he organized and conducted a Baltimore, Md., urban planning charrette that ultimately fused two community groups—one predominantly Jewish, the other predominantly African American—into one. The Park Heights community of 50,000 residents was the largest urban renewal project in Maryland at the time. The Park Heights Street Academy, an alternative high school, emerged from that charrette. Britt subsequently led the school’s Board of Directors for six years. (Source)

Stan Britt is principal of Sulton, Campbell Britt, founded in 1964.

Here the interview with Stan Britt:
Stan Britt, FAIA

At what age did you decide to become an architect?
What was the main reason you picked architecture as your profession?
Working with my Uncle who was a carpenter I tried to copy the drawings.
What do you consider as your (or your firm’s) best project? Give one reason why? (Please attach one photo of the project)
It’s always the one I’m currently working on because I’m looking to improve on my last project.
What is your favorite work of architecture worldwide? Give one reason why. (Pick one image from the internet that explains your choice)
Sydney Opera House
How would you describe the state of built architecture in Baltimore based on what has been built in the last 30 years.
Basically mediocre with a few Gems. I think the best of Baltimore’s built environment is its urban design efforts.
Which is your favorite neighborhood in Baltimore?
Roland Park
What single piece of advice would you give the new Mayor regarding Baltimore’s built environment?
Don’t compromise recommendations from your Urban Design, Architectural Review Board
What do you see as Baltimore’s biggest problem. Name one idea how to overcome it.
Broader Public Education options and the facilities to accommodate the same.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Positive contribution to the urban fabric of low-income and working class neighborhoods.  
One final comment of your own choice.
More Public Transit without gas based vehicles is equally as high as education for me.

This is the third in a series of written mini interviews with Baltimore architects. The intent is to have a diversity of view points, from established architects and up and coming architects, male and female and of various ethnic backgrounds. However, I am depending on who responds and cannot assure that the desired diversity is actually delivered.

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA


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