April 11, 2013
William H. Short, FAIA
Considered to be a pioneer in historic preservation architecture, William H. Short, FAIA, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., a town where he practiced for many years and completed many projects. Fueled by an appreciation for the beauty of historic buildings, Short dedicated much of his career to restoring and preserving older properties for modern use. And, while Bill was interested in and became a leader in historic preservation, he really thought of himself as a maker of new buildings.
His many Princeton projects included the conversion of Guernsey Hall from a 150-year-old mansion to condominiums; and the restoration of Drumthwacket, the New Jersey governor’s residence; the Lowrie House, home of Princeton University’s president; and Helm Auditorium, also part of Princeton University. But perhaps his most notable assignment was when he was chosen by Frank Lloyd Wright to serve as the Clerk Of the Works for the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Short’s professional career began in New York City working with Holden, McLaughlin and Associates. He left in 1960 to partner with Robert Venturi to form Philadelphia-based Venturi and Short. In 1974 he partnered with Jeremiah Ford III in Princeton to form Short and Ford Architect, one of the nation’s leading historic preservation firms.
As an active member of the architecture community, Short did not limit his talent to his own firm’s projects. He led the community of preservation architects by serving as chairman of the New Jersey Society of Architects Historic Resources and Preservation Committee, and was a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), The Athenaeum of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Princeton. He died in 1991.
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