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AFGR Legacy Leaders: by Jim Durfee, AIA


Merriam-Webster Definition:

1: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property: BEQUEST

2: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past

The idea of legacy has special importance as it applies to design professionals. Architects, engineers and interior designers leave an indelible mark on the world we live in. Whether currently practicing, retired or having passed on, Rochester design professionals have literally shaped our region. Many of our colleagues have contributed in ways deeply appreciated by the design community and the community at large.

A long list of luminaries stretches back more than a century. It includes early leaders from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s like J. Foster Warner and Claude Bragdon. It includes mid-century practitioners now more appreciated for the quality of their design contributions. And it includes colleagues that have more recently passed on; names like Wurzer, Macon, Ladue, Starks, Johnson and Zimmerman.

Recognizing not only our past design leaders, but also the promise represented by talented designers of the future, the Architectural Foundation established the “Legacy Fund”. While currently providing scholarships to promising students connected to our community pursuing their design education, the fund also has the potential to have a wider impact.

The importance of design in our built environment has never been higher.

Whether you value the contributions of past design leaders or appreciate how critical it is to build upon their legacy, consider contributing to this important growing resource.

It will make a difference…

-by James B. Durfee, AIA LEED AP, AFGR Board Treasurer

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