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Hlafter selected for national architectural honor


Princeton NJ -- University Architect Jon Hlafter has been honored for his significant contributions to the profession by selection to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows.

He was invested during the AIA 2004 National Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago June 10-12.

Jon Hlafter

Jon Hlafter


The fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.

Out of a total AIA membership of nearly 72,000, there are fewer than 2,500 distinguished with the honor of fellowship.

Hlafter earned bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture from Princeton in 1961 and 1963, respectively. He joined the Princeton staff in 1968 and was appointed director of physical planning in 1969. Earlier this year, he was named University architect (see story on page 3).

"With unabated enthusiasm, care and professionalism, Mr. Hlafter has overseen the preservation and adaptive reuse of a unique collection of buildings dating from 1756, and the development of new structures that are exemplars of contemporary endeavors," wrote Princeton Trustee Emerita Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk in nominating him for the award. "It is a significant tribute to his work that the transition from old to new on campus is virtually seamless and that the Princeton University campus can be considered a national treasure."

Plater-Zyberk, who graduated from Princeton in 1972, is a principal in the architectural firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. and dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture. For several years, she chaired the grounds and buildings committee of the Princeton Board of Trustees.

She called Hlafter a steward for effectively managing change, a guide for helping University decision-makers and an advocate for sharing his knowledge with groups ranging from Princeton students to campus visitors to professional colleagues.

Hlafter has been responsible for the management of hundreds of construction projects at Princeton. His work has ranged from overseeing the renovation of the Princeton Inn (now Forbes College) from a hotel to a residential college in 1971 to the construction of the Frist Campus Center, which involved an addition to and renovation of the building that formerly housed the physics department, in 2000.

He has worked on the construction and renovation of many classroom buildings and laboratories as well as a number of dormitories. His work also is reflected in Princeton Stadium, the art museum addition and the Berlind Theatre. He has coordinated award-winning projects by notable architects such as Robert Venturi, Rafael Viñoly and I.M. Pei.

Hlafter has served as the principal staff adviser for the President's Advisory Committee on Architecture, which makes key decisions and formulates critical policies for the campus. In the 1990s, Hlafter collaborated with outside architects to develop and implement a master plan for campus buildings. A decade later, he also was involved in working with an outside firm on a landscaping master plan.

"It is gratifying to see Jon recognized nationally by his peers for his huge body of work here at Princeton," said Michael McKay, vice president for facilities. "I am constantly amazed at Jon's innate understanding of the campus and his ability to integrate the built environment with the research and teaching mission of the institution, while at the same time adding to and preserving Princeton's architectural history. Jon is universally respected and admired by his colleagues here at Princeton, by the many world-class architects with whom he has collaborated and by all of us both here and across the country who have learned so much from him."