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AIA Florida: A History

The Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012.  To commemorate this historic event and help educate the public to raise awareness of the architecture profession, AIA Florida is planning a year of exciting and educational events, including Architecture Month in April, the "Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places." competition, the Annual Convention at The Breakers Palm Beach in July, a celebration event in December 2012 and much more.

It is a celebration of our history and heritage, a salute to those who had the insight of creating better places to live, work and play through architectural design.

In 1912, 42 architects created the Florida Association of Architects in Jacksonville, Florida.  Three years later, with the support of the Association, the state of Florida created the State Board of Architecture, regulating the profession.  Florida gave its first professional state licensing exam for architects in 1916 - four passed!

Today, we are an association of over 3,300 members!

 

 "Future" site of AIA Florida headquarters in 1892

 

  Site of AIA Florida headquarters in 1950

 

  Our headquarters today.

 

  All dressed up for our 100th Anniversary.

A Century of Fellowship - AIA Florida History

1912

?Modern achievement in every line of human endeavor is largely the result of organized efforts.?
Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects Reference Book, 1983

This quote sums up the conviction with which 42 qualified architects meet in Jacksonville and form the Florida Association of Architects (FAA) in 1912.  For many years prior to the formation of the State Association, the few qualified architects in Florida were competing unsuccessfully, under the usual disadvantage of unorganized professionals, with hundreds of contractors and builders who falsely advertised themselves as architects. 

With preliminary drafts of a Constitution, Bylaws, and Code of Ethics in hand, these Jacksonville architects summon their fellow professionals from all over the state to a convention held in Jacksonville on December 14, 1912.  Among those in attendance: R.A. Benjamin, W.B. Camp, Mellen C. Greeley, J.H.W. Hawkins, H.J. Klutho, M. Leo Elliot, and LeRoy Sheftall.  The association begins with 36 charter members. 

1914

The Florida Association of Architects is granted a State Charter, under which it is allowed to operate for 99 years.

1915

The Architect?s Examination and Registration Law passes the Legislature and Gov. Park Trammell signs it into law. Members of the Association work vigorously to stop the practice of the State Board of Control of persistently awarding architectural commissions for state buildings to out-of-state architects.  They also work to establish a requirement that plans for certain types of structures be prepared, signed, and sealed by an architect with Florida registration.

1917

Within the first five years of the Association?s existence, over 60 buildings are constructed which will later be recognized for their architectural importance and added to the National Register of Historic Places.

1918

Addison Mizner arrives in South Florida.  Even before coming to Palm Beach, Mizner?s residences begin taking on a decidedly Mediterranean quality.  When asked what he thought a suitable architecture for Palm Beach might be, he pictures ??a Moorish tower like on the coast of Spain with an open loggia facing the sea and a cool court with a dripping fountain in the shade of beautiful palms.?  Mizner?s visions of South Florida remain the style of choice for Palm Beach and Boca Raton until the collapse of the real estate market in 1925.

1920-1928

The State Board of Architecture is established to license architects and oversee professional ethics.  In addition, a state committee is appointed to develop a Uniform Building Code.  At the local level, many municipalities add building departments and enforce the requirement that all plans be signed and sealed by a licensed architect.  By 1924, 273 architects are registered to practice in Florida.  By 1928, this number will nearly triple.

1929

In October, the stock market crashes.  The effect on the profession is devastating.  One year before the crash, there are 774 architects registered to practice in Florida. By 1932, this number drops to just 28.  Throughout this economic upheaval, the goal of the Florida Association of Architects remains the same:

?To organize and unite in fellowship the architects of the State of Florida and to combine their efforts to promote the artistic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession.?
FAA Bulletin, 1938

1931-1940

In the early 1930s, the Federal government implements several programs, including the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, both of which put architects back to work.  According to F.W. Dodge Corporation, over $70 million in construction contracts is awarded during 1937 with an additional $48 million awarded within the first ten months of 1938.

1939

Frank Lloyd Wright is granted registration in Florida in December. His work in lakeland at Florida Southern College becomes legendary, creating national interest in architecture.

1940

At the AIA National Convention, it is moved, seconded, and carried that the Florida Association of Architects should officially become an affiliate of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), one of 13 other state organizations to be associated with the AIA.

1941-1950

Florida loses many of its AIA members during the war years, and a record of the lives lost becomes part of the minutes of the Association.  Dues are cancelled for all architects in the military, and each is sent a paid-in-full membership card for the 1944 membership year.

?The members of the Florida Association of Architects, assembled in convention?have expressed their sorrow and regret upon receiving knowledge of the passing of our fellow members??
from an FAA proclamation, 1944

1941

Under the banner of Unification with both national AIA and at the state level, a committee is established to promote the state organization as a single entity rather than chapters operating independently of each other.  Following World War II, unity is achieved with the merging of the three Florida chapters (Florida North, Central, and South) under one set of officers and directors.

1945

The official magazine of FAA, Florida Architect, is established.  Except for a brief period when the headquarters is moved from Miami to Tallahassee, Florida Architect (now called Florida/Caribbean Architect) will be published continuously from that point forward.

1946

On December 7, the American Institute of Architects charges the Florida Association with the mission ??to unite, promote, and encourage continual improvement within the profession.?

1947

July 15, the Florida Association of Architects becomes the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (FA/AIA).  Its first state convention is held in St. Petersburg.  There are 181 members, five of whom are appointed to the Florida Board of Architecture.

1949

The AIA Gold Medal is awarded to Frank Lloyd Wright.

1952

The FA/AIA raises $10,000.00 and, according to President R. Daniel Hart, "...jump(s) from curbstone tactics to a business organization" with the rental of an office and employment of a full time secretary to transact the business of the Association.

1956

January 21, the FA/AIA and the Florida Engineering Society develop the nation's first mutually-acceptable code of professional practice to govern the policy of inter-profession relationships.

1959

Following Hurricane Donna, Gov. Leroy Collins appoints John Stetson, AIA as chairman of an advisory committee to study the devastation caused by the hurricane and make recommendations to the Florida cabinet regarding stricter building codes.

1961-1970

FA/AIA expands its awards programs to recognize the works of a diverse group of practitioners including craftsmen, writers, and photographers.  Additionally, the Anthony L. Pullara Awards are created to recognize individuals and chapters.  The awards are named in honor of Tony Pullara, an architect who ??was devoted to service over and above his official capacities.?

AIA National recognizes Florida Architect as ??the best of 24 component publications for editorial value to the profession.?

1967-1968

The Puerto Rico Chapter of the AIA is founded, followed closely by the establishment of the Virgin Islands Chapter in 1968.  Initially, the Puerto Rico Chapter is assigned to AIA New York.  This relationship remains until an architect from the Virgin Islands succeeds in having the chapter affiliation changed to the Florida Association.

1970

The Federal Brooks Act, legislation requiring the use of qualifications-based selection, is enacted and officially becomes law in 1972.

1973

Florida enacts Florida Statute 287.055, popularly known as the Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA).  CCNA is derived from the Federal Brooks Act and requires qualifications-based selection when acquiring professional architectural, engineering, landscape architectural, and surveying and mapping services.  This legislation remains a source of contention to this day.

1974

The Florida Architects Political Action Committee (FAPAC) is established as members realize the importance of lobbying legislators on behalf of the profession.  The decision comes on the heels of new legislation, House Bill 10884, which requires that all contracts issued by the federal government for services and materials be awarded to the lowest bidder, including contracts for architectural and engineering work.  Members are urged to write to the bill?s sponsor, Rep. Charles E. Bennett (D-Florida), in opposition.  The bill ultimately fails.

1979

New rules and changes to the law are regularly initiated, and it becomes increasingly important for architects to make their voices heard in the legislature.  For this reason, FA/AIA members agree to move the Association from Miami to Tallahassee.  George A. Allen, CAE is hired as the Executive Vice President, a position he will hold until 1997.  The initial headquarters are located in a renovated grocery store on West College Avenue.

1981

Miami firm Harper and Buzinec is awarded the contract to renovate an historic building on East Jefferson Street. Gallie Hall, one of the oldest structures in downtown Tallahassee, becomes the site of the FA/AIA offices.

Florida Architect wins an Award of Excellence from the Southern Public Relations Foundation.

1983

FA/AIA implements its Unbuilt Honor Awards program and presents 12 awards in this category at the 1983 Annual Convention.  Paul Goldberger, New York Times architecture critic, writes, ?The old style awards were a pat on the back to those architects well-enough established to get things built; the new ones (unbuilt) offer the opportunity for honors to anyone with strong ideas, whether or not a real client is waiting in the wings.?

1984

Members Jack Sanders and Dean Rowe serve on a select committee tasked with making recommendations on how architects and engineers could qualify to be designated as special inspectors under the Amended Building Law.  The new language requires that only registered architects or engineers be allowed to serve as special inspectors on threshold buildings.

1989

In April, Robert Gutman, Hon. AIA and author of Architectural Practice: A Critical View expresses his concerns at a practice seminar about the current state of the profession, stating that buildings are much more difficult to design. ?To make matters worse, there is a shift from the pragmatic parts of a building and a focus on its style and the artistic aspect.?  Gutman calls for mandatory continuing education for architects as a means of restoring professional idealism and public identity.

1991-2000

The 1990s brings innovation to some of the FA/AIA office procedures.  The Association introduces Friday Fax, a faster and more efficient way of providing members with timely news.

Elsewhere, new terms such as ?best practices? and ?value engineering? are popping up as energy issues become a major concern to the profession.  Meetings are held, guidelines established, websites created, and books published dealing with the subject of energy conservation and energy-conscious design.

1996

Keith Reeves and the Architects Design Group of Orlando are commissioned to design ?the world?s most energy-efficient building,? the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa, FL.

1997

R. Scott Shalley replaces George A. Allen as Executive Vice President of the Association.

1998

The Florida Uniform Building Code is adopted statewide. New legislation enables architects to server as building inspectors for code compliance.

1999

Debra A. Lupton, AIA becomes the first woman elected as President of the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects.

2004

Vicki L. Long, CAE replaces R. Scott Shalley, becoming the first woman hired as the Executive Vice President of the Association.

2006

The FA/AIA wins Association of the Year from the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives.

2008

The FA/AIA wins Association of the Year from both the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives and the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

2009

The FA/AIA wins a Component Excellence Award from AIA National for its role in fighting off the controversial Amendment 5 from the November 2008 ballot.  The amendment would have created a multibillion dollar budget shortfall in school funding.  Many believed it would have forced the Florida Legislature to fill it with, among other things, a tax on professional services.

2011

Dan Kirby, AIA, AICP, LEED AP is elected as the 2012 First Vice President/President-elect of the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects.  Kirby will become the first African American President of the FA/AIA when he officially takes office in 2013.

2012

The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects celebrates 100 years of service to the architecture profession and the public at large.

 

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