Carl Elefante, FAIA, FAPT, LEED AP, principal with Quinn Evans Architects, has been recognized with Traditional Building magazine’s Clem Labine Award for 2019.
The award is presented annually to honor the personal achievements of individuals who have devoted pro bono time and energy over an extended period of time “advocating for beauty in the public arena.” Labine is the founder of Traditional Building, Period Homes, and Old House Journal magazines.
In bestowing the award, Peter H. Miller, Hon. AIA, the editor of Traditional Building, noted Elefante’s sense of “an awakening among his peers,” comparing modern-day resistance to climate action with an aversion to the adoption of fire and building codes more than a century ago. Paraphrasing Elefante, Miller noted that “…the traditional building community must wrestle with a contradiction: keep proselytizing for the lasting value of historic buildings – especially as a contrast to a culture that too often leans toward the new and disposable – while acknowledging that cities need to evolve and adapt…”
Elefante, who served as national president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2017-2018, has devoted his career to advancing the art and science of historic preservation, with a focus on the integration of sustainable concepts in the restoration and adaptive use of aging structures. He has been with Quinn Evans Architects since 1996 and has overseen such complex projects as the renovation of the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia; the modernization of the National Academy of Sciences facing the National Mall in Washington, DC; the expansion and renovation of the historic Stratford Middle School in Arlington, Va.; and the development of a campus heritage plan for Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Elefante is a fellow of the AIA and the Association of Preservation Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Maryland (1980).
In acknowledging the award, Elefante stated,
“As an architect, working with existing buildings and making them usable for another generation is incredibly satisfying—the looking back and the looking forward are both equally engaging.”