In its 30th Year, the Richard Morris Hunt Prize Redoubles its Impact

Simon Petot-Bottin, Brian Bauer (U.S. Embassy Cultural Attaché), Bérénice Gaussuin, Michèle le Ménestrel Ullrich, James Walbridge, Robert Ivy, Barbara Lambec, Pierre Gommier

At a moment of global environmental concern, one organization is supporting greater scholarship in conserving the built environment — the Richard Morris Hunt Prize. Founded in 1990, the Richard Morris Hunt Prize awards two prizes each year to two laureates, a Fellow and a Scholar, practicing architects specializing in historic preservation. Grants are alternatively given
to French and American recipients to support in-depth research travel in the two countries. During the Richard Morris Hunt Jury on December 6th, 2019, the remarkable quality of all four finalists motivated the decision to give not only the annual RMHP Fellow and Scholar awards, but also two special 30th Anniversary Grants. Their subjects were thoroughly relevant and contemporary. Continue reading

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