AIA ForumThe AIA Rhode Island Architectural Forum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was established by AIA Rhode Island (a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects) to support educational programs within the architectural community.
Peter Harrison: America's First Architect
Peter Harrison, was often regarded as the “First American Architect” and had a significant impact on American mid-18th century
buildings and as the first importer of Palladianism across the Atlantic, on subsequent generations of architects to the present
The primary objective of this project was to conduct research and subsequently write a paper that would establish Peter Harrison as America’s First Architect, and in the process bestow on him the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, posthumously.
This scholarly research and document was completed by Dr. Ronald J. Onorato, in 2011, images of Harrison’s architectural work were photographed by Warren Jagger and volunteers from AIAri helped compile the material into a 10-page booklet. This booklet includes biographical and chronological information as well as representative work by Peter Harrison.
Click here to view Peter Harrison: America's First Architect.
Funding for this project was made possible by a generous grant from The van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Inc. and from AIAri.
The Forum’s primary vehicle for supporting educational program is the Scholarship program. Since 2000, the Forum awards multiple scholarships to financial aid eligible students studying architecture at an accredited school in Rhode Island or be a Rhode Island resident studying one of these subjects at an accredited school outside of Rhode Island. Funding for architectural scholarships is provided by proceeds from AIA Rhode Island’s annual golf outing. In addition to the AIAri Scholarship program the family of Norton E. Salk set up a scholarship fund in his name. Because of this, AIAri is please to offer the Norton E. Salk Scholarship for design excellence.
Norton E. Salk Scholarship
Norton Salk was a doer throughout his lifetime. A lifelong Rhode Island resident, he graduated from Classical High School, attended Brown University for one year, joined the U.S. Army Corps, and served in the Corps of Engineers. While in the Corps, he spent time in Italy and developed a great admiration of and passion for classical architecture. It led, following his return to the states and graduation from the University of Michigan, to a 55-year career as an architect.
Mr. Salk designed schools, nursing homes, shopping centers, office buildings, and private residences, including the A.T. Cross Headquarters, Southern New England School of Law, Western Hills Middle School, and a wing of the Rhode Island Veterans’ Home. The last five years of his practice were devoted primarily to pro bono work, including design of the Jewish War Veterans’ Memorial and consulting to Sophia Academy.
His children note that Mr. Salk also shared his enthusiasm for the profession by devoting time to professional organizations, including serving as president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, and by mentoring architectural students, including his daughter.
“I remember visiting projects and seeing his work. I was in awe,” she shares, noting that she especially enjoyed working with him. “When faced with a challenging project, my father said to me, ‘Design is a problem waiting to be solved.’”
Norton Salk will continue to nurture architecture students through this scholarship fund, designated for the AIA Rhode Island Architectural Forum and to be used to assist students majoring in architecture at accredited Rhode Island schools.
Clickhere for the scholarship application.
Additional programs sponsored through the Forum include funding for architectural guidebooks to Providence, in association with the Providence Preservation Society and Newport Preservation Society, as well as the annual Canstruction® event in Providence.
Donate to the Forum
Donations to the Forum are greatly appreciated and encouraged. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please consult your tax professional. To make a donation, please send your check made payable to:
AIA Rhode Island Architectural Forum
P.O. Box 6226
Providence, Rhode Island 02940
A Chapter of The American Institute of Architects. © 2014 AIAri Chapter.