Notre Dame de Paris

In April 2013, Benjamin Mouton, accompanied by Michèle le Menestrel Ullrich, left for the United States for an RMHP Série de Prestige of four conferences presented on the occasion of the Jubilee of the 850th anniversary of Notre Dame Cathedral. The first conference, held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., was presided by French Ambassador François Delattre. The event’s great success could not be denied as Benjamin gave his conference before a standing-room only auditorium at the Penn School of Design (University of Pennsylvania). As Bonita Mueller, RMHP Fellow, wrote, ”I have always been one of Benjamin’s biggest fans … the Richard Morris Hunt Prize lecture series was a resounding success.” For the third conference, the trip continued to Columbia University in New York thanks to the generous invitation of  Professor Jorge Otero Pailos. Newport was the site of the last conference by Benjamin Mouton, welcomed by the Preservation Society in memory of our great Richard Morris Hunt.

Benjamin carried high the banner of French heritage preservation while also waving the colors of the RMHP. Today, for us, Benjamin Mouton revisits his close personal relationship with Notre Dame.  Please follow this link:
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Brick in Historic Constructions: Raw or Cooked?

In Paris, Elsa Ricaud, 2012 RMHP Fellow and expert in raw-earth construction materials, participated in the École de Chaillot’s 10thannual Journée d’étude on May 17, 2019, revealing some of the secrets surrounding historic uses of the materiel, whether in its raw or kiln-fired form.

Elsa is responsible for a class given by the École de Chaillot, a class which is also offered in Morocco, on restoration techniques for built heritage in earthen materials. She also teaches at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles in its master’s-level research program “Architecture et ses territoires”. Elsa is associate at the Sunmetron architectural firm in Paris.

RMHP Fellow Inaugurate New FHS Chicago Chapter

Mary Brush, 2005 Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellow, guest of honor at the opening of the Chicago Chapter of French Heritage Society, delivered the inaugural address on February 20, 2019, on the topic of:

AuthentiCity:  Protection of Authentic Places in France and the USA

For more information, contact FHS at 212 759 6846, ext. 201 

We encourage you to read Brush’s Fellowship Final Report by following this link.

An Overview of Heritage Preservation in the France of 1994

One might question the pertinence of a Final Report about a Fellow’ss experiences in 1994, 25 years ago. I invite you to read it… it is remarkable. The administrative system of heritage preservation in France is described with the minute precision of a silversmith, with a pinch of humour. It allows us to compare yesterday’s regulations with today’s rules. It is thanks to yesterday’s preservation efforts that so many monuments exist today. We can rejoice that “Patrimoine” has become a public concern, that it is now headline news on our TV screens, in the press, and even the “loto”, the French National Lottery.  → Follow this link to an article by Claire Bommelaer and Mathilde Visseyrias

The success of Ruth Todd”s professional career is an excellent example. Should we speak of the “RMHP effect”? The Fellow who set foot in France in 1994, now FAIA, today leads some of California’s most significant preservation projects, as prinicipal at Page & Turbull in San Francisco.

Michèle le Menestrel Ullrich

→ Please follow this link to the RMHP Final Reports Collection

New Orleans: 300 Years of Crescent City Geography, Culture, and Climate

Biannual Reunion of the Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellows and Scholars

October 16-21, 2018

The Richard Morris Hunt Prize (RMHP) Fellows and Scholars chose New Orleans for their bi-annual reunion, in celebration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the city. Wendy Hillis, Tulane University Architect and 2007 RMHP Fellow, along with Beth Jacobs, 2017 RMHP Fellow, organized the program in this most French of American cities. 

We were to experience this city of sunshine, flowers, scents, so well epitomized by Louis Armstrong’s tune, “C’est si bon”.  NOLA (for New Orleans, Louisiana) is encircled by the Mississippi River, “le Père des Eaux”, often invisible, always immense, the Lord of the whole province, the Minotaur seducer and destroyer.  Yet, after the devastation of Katrina in 2005, this town seems to have turned the page.

Sabrina Fabris, 2002 RMHP Fellow, opened the magnificent five-day event. Jumping from century to century, she fascinated an audience gathered at the AIA Architects Centre describing the rebirth of the gardens of the Chateau de Chambord.  Thanks to archived drawings of the never-completed garden, a team from the Philippe Villeneuve Agency, of which Sabrina was project manager, have brought them to life. They are now offer enchanting views. Fabris tells us, “What an honor to have been chosen as project manager by Philippe Villeneuve ACMH to supervise the re-naissance of this prestigious garden, especially when all eyes are focused on this year’s celebrations of Chambord 500th anniversary. This spectacular project was made possible by a donation given by the American philanthropist Stephen Schwarzman. Much like my research in America during my Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellowship for a, this is another example of the close cultural relationship between our two countries.” Follow this link to view the presentation


We needed to learn more about the Mississippi and its impressive estuary.  Richard Campanella, Senior Professor of Practice in  Architecture and Geography at Tulane University, enlightened us with a masterful description of the regulation of water, flow, run-off, retention lakes, and canals associated with the river… So many discoveries, so many anxiety-provoking questions.   Continue reading