UF names endowment after alumnus, renowned Miami architect
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida School of Architecture announces the creation of the Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Endowment named for the legendary South Florida architect and to be marked during the school’s two-week exhibition, “Of a Master’s Hand: Alfred Browning Parker – Celebrating 92 Years in the Making.” It opens Sept. 22 in the gallery at the Reitz Student Union.
The endowment will support and strengthen the Architecture Archives, a partnership between the School of Architecture in the College of Design, Construction and Planning and the George A. Smathers Libraries to hold thousands of drawings, blueprints, photographs and related records that document architecture and design from the late 19th century to the present. Since its establishment in 2004, the archives has become a leading repository for historical records pertaining to the architecture and architects of Florida, including Parker, Kenneth Treister, Rufus Nims, Darrell Fleeger, the Carrère & Hastings firm and the UF historic buildings drawings. Several other leading Florida architects, including Gene Leedy, William Morgan, Robert Broward, Peter Jefferson, Don Singer and Hershel Sheppard, have pledged the donation of their architectural archives to UF, with more in development.
Parker, a UF distinguished alumnus, is famed for his modernist style using local materials that work with the climate and embrace their environment. He designed more than 6,400 projects during his lifetime, mostly in the greater Miami area, ranging from residences to major projects like the Miami Marina. In 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright recommended Parker as an American Institute of Architects Fellow, a distinction reserved for an architect who has made a significant contribution to both architecture and the greater society.
The exhibition, which will continue through Oct. 3, highlights Parker’s hand renderings, plans and photos of some of his most iconic designs from the 1940s to present. Events celebrating Parker’s work will include a gallery talk with Parker on Sept. 24 (his 92nd birthday), lectures by visiting architecture professors and a tour narrated by Parker on Sept. 26 of Gainesville homes he designed. For a complete event schedule and for more information about Parker, please visit www.alfredbparker.com.
“We have been privileged to share with our students, faculty, alumni and the Florida architectural community the immense wealth of knowledge, insight, commitment and creativity of a great master in our discipline,” said Martha Kohen, UF architecture professor and founder of the archives, who is exhibit curator along with architecture doctoral student Dereck Winning.
Parker’s work also will be featured in the exhibition “Promises of Paradise: Staging Mid-Century Miami” opening Oct. 11 at the Harn Museum of Art. The exhibition, which continues through Jan. 25, will showcase the contributions of architects, designers and urban planners of mid-20th century Miami to American Modernism and the indoor-outdoor lifestyle for which Florida is known today.