We are pleased to announce the creation of the Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Endowment, a new initiative intended to support and strengthen the Architecture Archives in the Libraries. The endowment is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Alfred Browning Parker, the distinguished Florida architect and UF alumnus.
With the donation of his papers and drawings, Parker has been instrumental in establishing the Architecture Archives in the Smathers Libraries. The Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Endowment will support scholarly research, historic preservation, and the education of future students. Specifically, the Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Endowment supports the acquisition, preservation, processing, and storage of archival drawings and other historical records that document Florida architecture and architects.
Establishing his practice in the 1940s, Parker quickly gained fame for his visionary architecture and craftsmanship. Renowned for his environmentally friendly designs in the Modernist style, he has designed and built over 6,400 projects throughout his lifetime and won numerous awards. House Beautiful, the primary architecture magazine during the 1950s and 60s, named four of Parker's residences as "Pace Setter" houses, more than any other architect. In 1959 Frank Lloyd Wright recommended Parker as an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Fellow. An AIA Fellowship recognizes architects who have made a significant contribution to both architecture and the greater society, achieving a standard of excellence in architecture at both a local and national level. Parker was the only architect Wright recommended for the Fellowship.
Gifts to his endowment have a direct impact on the quality and future activities of the Architecture Archives by supporting scholarly research, historic preservation, and the education of future generations of students. The income from this endowment will be used:
To Support Preservation of Collections: The Architecture Archives collects records of diverse types, sizes and formats, which document the architects and architecture of Florida, focusing primarily in the 20th Century. Currently, the Archives holds thousands of drawings, blueprints, photographs, and related records that document architecture and design from the late 19th Century to the present. We conserve, store, arrange, and describe the records to ensure long term preservation and use. Your investment ensures the proper preservation and storage of these important historical collections.
To Support Student Education: Historical architectural records enhance the educational experience by bringing the past to the present for students. Faculty members in the School of Architecture have incorporated the archival collections in courses, and numerous graduate and undergraduate student assistants have worked on arranging and describing the collections. Students gain valuable experience and knowledge by researching and using historical drawings and papers. The Modern Movement collection enables the students to study original materials and documents the notable contribution of Florida architects in sustainable design. Your contribution greatly improves the experience of the current and future architecture students by ensuring that the collections are available for their use.
To Support Research and Scholarship: The Architecture Archives promotes the use of architectural records that document the architects and architecture of Florida. Staff members provide researcher assistance to students and faculty, scholars and researchers, and the general public. In the past four years, numerous drawings, photos and other documents have been used in books, journal and newspaper articles, theses, and dissertations. Several artifacts also have been exhibited in art and history museums, including the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, the Harn Museum of Art, the Bass Museum of Art, and the Museum of Florida History. With additional funding, we will be able to expand our promotion and outreach activities, attract additional researchers, and contribute to architectural scholarship, including doctoral research.
To Support Preservation of Florida's Architectural Heritage: The Architecture Archives provides invaluable documentation for historic preservation projects. In recent months, the Archives has contributed photographs and drawings to DOCOMOMO/US Florida in that organization's fight to preserve endangered historic architecture, including a 48-year-old house that is the last remaining Alfred Browning Parker design in Palm Beach. Your contribution will increase access to and awareness of these resources by funding digitization and outreach activities.
How to Make a Gift to the Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Endowment. We invite you to make a gift today! Please make your contribution to: UFF/Alfred Browning Parker Architecture Archives Library Endowment. Please contact us if you have any questions or need additional information:
Director of Development
University of Florida
George A. Smathers Libraries
P.O. Box 117000
Gainesville, FL 32611-7000
For further information about the Parker Endowment or the diverse Architecture Archives collections, please contact: John Nemmers, Archivist in the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections.