In Memoriam: Steven D. Schuster, FAIA

Submitted by vcb_prod on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 14:36
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"],[0,[0],1,"I"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[0],1," want to beg your indulgence as this in memoriam may be a bit more personal than others I send. "],[0,[],0," "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"From an early age, Steve knew he wanted to be an architect. Growing up with an engineer as a father, to him that meant designing things, and he wanted to design as well. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Schuster was born in Hammond IN and grew up in Illinois. He obtained his Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture at NC State University in 1973 then worked for "],[0,[1],1,"Brian Shawcroft. "],[0,[1],1,"He attended University of Colorado at Boulder for a graduate degree in Architecture in 1977."],[0,[],0," "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"The Practice "],[0,[],0," "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"After returning to Raleigh, he started "],[0,[1],1,"Clearscapes in 1981 with sculptor Thomas Sayre."],[0,[],0," Referred to by many as \u0022Raleigh\u0027s architect\u0022, Steve spent three decades enriching Raleigh through architecture and design. He was instrumental in downtown Raleigh\u0027s revitalization through his personal efforts and his company, Clearscapes. His effort to spark revitalization began in the 1980s when he moved his home and company into a downtown industrial building. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Steve\u0027s many architectural contributions to Raleigh include the Marbles Kids Museum, Artspace, the North Regional Library, Glenwood South\u0027s Pine State Creamery and the Raleigh Convention Center. Notable projects also include the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh\u0027s Warehouse District as well as the Raleigh Union Station, a project in the Warehouse District that has had significant impact on lower downtown Raleigh. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Within the span of two months our State has lost two giants in our industry. The admiration and affection between Steve and Phil Freelon spanned three decades and in 2012, Phil attested to Steve\u0027s professional contributions through his lens as both an architect and artist in a letter for Steve\u0027s Gold Medal nomination, \u0022The impact of Steve\u0027s work goes deeper than the buildings and communities he creates. Through his partnership with artist Thomas Sayer, Steve\u0027s design projects are infused with, and enhanced by, artistic expression at the human scale. This aspect of Steve\u0027s unique practice sets him apart from most other architects working in our cities and towns.\u0022 "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"The Accolades"],[0,[],0," "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Steve was awarded the NC State College of Design\u0027s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2012 and the Designlife Award in 2015. He was awarded the "],[0,[3],1,"AIA North Carolina Gold Medal in 2012"],[0,[],0,", elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2011, inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2014 and was the Raleigh News \u0026 Observer\u0027s "],[0,[4],1,"Tar Hell of the Year in 2014"],[0,[],0,". "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"As a civic leader, he spearheaded the fundraising effort to build the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design and held leadership positions for Capitol Area Preservation, the Raleigh Historic Properties Commission and the Raleigh Planning Commission. He was also appointed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation\u0027s Board of Advisors, served in every leadership position with AIA North Carolina and was a National Director from the South Atlantic Region for the AIA. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],1,"The Man"],[0,[],0," "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Steve loved his profession. He believed in its transformative powers and he did everything he could in his career to further the AIA\u0027s mission to be the voice of the profession and to make architects an ever increasing resource to society. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Many in this State and Region are aware of Steve\u0027s leadership in the design and construction industry. Fewer are aware of his impact on the AIA Chapter in North Carolina. Steve was very private about his generosity and stewardship. But, our members need to know the extent to which his quiet leadership propelled AIA North Carolina into national prominence. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Without the Schuster\u0027s personal financial backing during the depths of the Great Recession the AIA North Carolina Center for Architecture \u0026 Design would never had been built. It took 5 additional years for the Chapter to finalize all 25 angel loans on CfAD financing. The Schuster\u0027s contribution comprised 40% of the angel financing, but Steve insisted that all 24 before him be settled before completing his repayment. On top of that they forgave at least 25% of the loan balance. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Prior to the Chapter moving into CfAD Steve served for more than two decades as the Tower Facility Committee Chair. I use the term Committee loosely, Steve WAS the committee. And you can imagine the issues regularly encountered in a granite and brick octagon water tower built in 1887. I would often accuse him of accepting the CfAD finance chair position just so he could get out of having to maintain the Tower. Thinking back, I\u0027m not sure he ever denied that. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Steve battled the cancer that finally took him for close to a year; however, many reading this may not have known about his health struggle. That was his way. He did not want the attention the news of his struggle would bring. About three weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit with him and it was clear that the prognosis was not going to get any better. I asked him what to tell our Chapter leadership and members and he said to let everyone know that he was retiring, transitioning the firm to a new generation of leaders, and taking time to enjoy what he\u0027s always wanted to do. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The family will conduct a private ceremony next week but will be planning a public celebration of Steve\u0027s life in the Fall. We will of course send more information when it becomes available. In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations in Steve\u0027s name to any of the follow organizations: "],[0,[5],1,"Preservation North Carolina"],[0,[],0,", "],[0,[6],1,"Urban Ministries of Wake County"],[0,[],0," and "],[0,[7],1,"Marbles Kids Museum"],[0,[],0,". "],[0,[8],1,"Brown-Wynne Funeral Home "],[0,[],0,"is handling arrangements at this time. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"On behalf of the AIA North Carolina Board of Directors I send our deepest sympathies and condolences to Mary Anne Howard, Steve\u0027s wife, Thomas Sayre and the Sayre family and the entire Clearscapes family - past and present. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Steve leaves a legacy of award-wining architecture, leadership with grace and humility, an indelible imprint on the urban fabric of North Carolina\u0027s capital city, but most importantly a legacy of friendship, mentorship and inspiration with all he touched. I share this quote from Fred Rogers that seems so appropriate for all who were close to Steve, \u0022The connections we make in the course of a life - maybe that\u0027s what heaven is.\u0022 "]]]]}
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In Memoriam, Steven D. Schuster
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