RICHARD MORRIS HUNT PRIZE Jury meeting, December 11, 2015


Jury meeting, December 11, 2015

Hôtel de Talleyrand – George C. Marshall Center, Paris

See invitation here


Members of the Jury

William T Kerr (Chair) American Architectural Foundation, Board of Regents Member, Partner, Eaglepoint Advisors, North Palm Beach, Florida

Philippe Bélaval, Conseiller d’État, Président du Centre des Monuments nationaux (CMN)

Julia Fendrick, Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of the United States of America

Pierre-Antoine Gatier, ACMH, IGMH, ICOMOS International Executive Committee, 1991 RMH Fellow

Mireille Grubert, Architecte Urbaniste en Chef de l’Etat, Directrice du Centre des Hautes Etudes de Chaillot

Florence Jeanjean, RMH Prize France Program Director

Michele le Menestrel Ullrich, FHS Founding President, RMHF Founder, Co-Chairman

Léopold Lombard, Architecte, LafargeHolcim Architect Relations Director

Alain Marinos, Inspecteur Général de l’architecture et des espaces protégés, Chaillot Professor, ENSA Belleville

Philippe Prost, Architect and Urban Planner, Professeur ENSA Paris-Belleville

Didier Repellin, ACMH, IGMH

Stéphanie de Ricou, Ateliers de Ricou/ Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant

Jean Christophe Simon, Inspecteur Général des Monuments Historiques, Collège des Monuments Historiques, 1993 RMH Fellow

Jose Maria Ullrich y Rojas, Ambassador of Spain, FHS Advisory Committee

Antoine Vernholes, Publisher, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (‘A’A’)


RMHF France Managing Team Observers

Donatella Andreani

Diana Gonzales

Cynthia Lasserre de Vezeronce

Diane Saint Olive

Joseph Warner

Jacqueline Mainguy (associée)



Ronald E. Bogle, Hon. AIA, AAF President and CEO, RMH Prize Co-Chairman

Elizabeth Stribling, Chairman, Stribling Associates, New York, French Heritage Society Chairman

Lisa Bonner, AAF, Attorney

Jury 2015

273-4-2-juryLe Jury du Richard Morris Hunt Prize se réunira le 11 décembre 2015. Il sera composé de :

Michèle le Menestrel Ullrich
FHS Founding President
RMHF Founder & Chairman
Officier des Arts et des Lettres
Paris Continue reading

Call for applications

Candidats français : Les dossiers préliminaires sont recevables à partir de fin 2018. Pour toute information complémentaire concernant le prochain Jury à Paris (fin 2019) veuillez contacter Florence Jeanjean, RMHP France Program Director:

Ou suivre ce lien : Formulaire de contact


The next American Jury will gather in Washington, D.C., in Fall 2020 to award the Richard Morris Hunt Prize to two American architects, a Fellow and a Scholar. Research travels will take place in France during 2021.

To apply, please follow this link to the AIA Architects Foundation


Richard Morris Hunt Still alive at Belcourt Castle Newport (RI)

Belcourt Castle, Newport

Belcourt Castle, located on the prestigious Bellevue Avenue where most of America’s “Gilded Age” mansions stand, awaited a person to restore it to its original splendor.

Richard Morris Hunt designed this “folie” of over 4,000 square meters and it captured the heart of Carolyn Rafaelian, founder of Alex and Ani Jewelry. She purchased it with her partner and contractor Joe Triangelo. The purchase price was quite low but the magnitude of the restoration was tremendous.

The history of Belcourt is unusual.  It was inspired by Louis XIII’s hunting lodge, which eventually became the Chateau of Versailles!  Completed in 1884, it was commissioned by Olivier Perry Belmont and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Hunt, at this point, was entering the final years of his professional life. Soon he will be joined by his son, Richard Howland Hunt, graduated also from the Beaux Arts in Paris. O H P Belmont, son of Auguste Belmont a successful financier, was a total eccentric, immoderately devoted to his horses.

At his request, the architect imagined a stable-cum- bachelor’s quarters, the first floor being reserved for horses and carriages.  Belmont’s bedroom; one floor higher, opened on to a ballroom, embellished with a pipe organ. This complex, colorful mansard mansion was built of granite and alternating bands of brick and had an elaborate half-timbered interior courtyard emblazoned with hunting trophies.

Not long after the house was finished, Belmont fell in love with his neighbor,  Alva Vanderbilt, owner of Marble House, her own Richard Morris Hunt mansion.  Alva was a well-known “suffragette” and a dear friend of the architect. She divorced her husband, married Mr. Belmont and moved in to Belcourt.  Soon there were no more horses in the living areas, the decor became gothic and renaissance, and she added a library plus her own bedroom!

Belmont died in 1908 – Hunt designed his mausoleum.  Then the years were difficult for Belcourt. In 1940 it almost became an automobile museum.  Later, in the fifties, it hosted the Newport Jazz Festival until the neighbor’s revolt. In 1956, the Tinneys bought it. Belcourt became a sort of “Gilded Age” pastiche, embellished with fragments of houses lost to demolition.  For example, a fantastic seahorse weathervane was, and still is, planted on the roof. The extravagant reception for over 800 people given in 1999 has never been forgotten as the dress code was: no underwear!  For years the house struggled through complicated family and extra-family disputes, its financial situation became precarious and soon it was empty, abandoned, a lost beauty, justifying its reputation as haunted.

Today, Mrs. Rafaelian has plans for Belcourt, rechristened »Belcourt of Newport”, without neglecting its motto “without fear”.  Next summer Belcourt will be opened to the public for mansion tours, will host an Art Gallery, as well as cultural, social and other events, providing their approval by the City Council.  Always in the spirit of elegance, in the image of Newport’s dedication to preservation.