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In 1912, 42 architects created the Florida Association of Architects in Jacksonville.­ Three years later, with the support of theassociation, 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 people passed.

Today, we are an association of more than 3,900 members.


­The building that is now the AIA Florida headquarters in 1892


­ Site of AIA Florida headquarters in 1950


­ Our headquarters today.


­ All ­dressed up for the 100th anniversary.

AIA Florida History


"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 summoned their fellow professionals from all over the state to a convention held in Jacksonville on Dec. 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.­


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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, more than $70 million in construction contracts is awarded during 1937 with an additional $48 million awarded within the first 10 months of 1938.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


The AIA Gold Medal is awarded to Frank Lloyd Wright.


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.


Jan. 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 interprofession relationships.


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.


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 Anthony "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."


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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."


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.


In April, Robert Gutman, Hon. AIA, and author of Architectural Practice: A Critical View expresses his concerns at a practice seminar about the state of the profession, saying 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.


The 1990s brings innovation to some of the FA/AIA office procedures.­ The association introduces the Friday Facts newsletter, 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.


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.


R. Scott Shalley replaces George A. Allen, CAE, as executive vice president of the Association.


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


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


Vicki L. Long, CAE, replaces R. Scott Shalley, becoming the first woman hired as the executive vice president of the Association.


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


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


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.


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.


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

­AIA Florida wins two Component Excellence Awards for Florida Architecture: 100 Years 100 Places­­and the professional guides created by a joint task force of AIA Florida, Florida Engineering Society and Building Officials Association­of Florida.

SB 286 restoring fairness in contractual liability is passed by the by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor.


AIA Florida and the Florida Foundation for Architecture begins the annual People's Choice Contest. This contest asks the public to vote on their favorite Florida architecture.


AIA Florida passes extensive by laws changes restructuring the Board of Directors and creating the AIA Florida Strategic Council.­


Vicki L. Long, CAE, Hon. AIA, retires from the association. Becky Magdaleno, CAE, is named as her successor and takes over as executive vice president and CEO.




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