John H. Beyer ’54

B.A., Denison University, 1954
B.A./M.Arch., Harvard Graduate School of Design, 1961

Architect/Founding Partner
Beyer, Blinder & Belle
New York, NY

Citation awarded June, 2004

Jack Beyer leads Beyer, Blinder & Belle, one of the most prominent architectural firms in the country. The firm is world-renowned as a specialist in restoration architecture and is also regarded as one of New York City’s busiest residential architectural firms. Beyer, Blinder & Belle has received more than 100 awards, including three United States Presidential Awards, the 1995 American Institute of Architectural Firms Award (a highly prestigious national award given annually to only one firm), the New York City AIA Medal of Honor, and the New York Society of Architects Lifetime Achievement Award. Beyer is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Beyer’s commitment to education is evident in his life’s work of helping to restore, preserve, and therefore educate the public about America’s heritage and its monuments to freedom, enterprise, and culture. The firm has excelled in preserving many of America’s greatest and most important monuments through carefully researched and elegantly implemented restorations. The list of projects includes the Immigration Museum at Ellis Island, Grand Central Terminal, the South Street Seaport in New York City; the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and buildings and master plans for many universities including Indiana University, Princeton, Columbia, NYU, Harvard, Yale, and the State University of New York. The firm is now working on restoration of the U.S. Capitol and recently completed a vision plan for Washington, D.C. Other planning projects include master plans for the Erie Canal, Governors Island, and Indiana University campuses.

During the 2002-03 academic year, Jack gave generously of his time and expertise to participate in two extraordinary “Alumni College on the Road” sessions in New York City. The first took place at Grand Central Terminal where he spoke to an SRO crowd about the restoration process, then led a walk-through full of insider information. Six months later, he and President Dale Knobel combined forces for an outstanding program at Ellis Island. Jack communicated his knowledge of the Immigration Museum (down to the 34,000 Italian tiles on the ceiling, only 17 of which had to be replaced!) with charm and wit to another rapt audience.

At Denison, Beyer studied art with a concentration in sculpture and was the percussionist (a hobby he still enjoys) in a student band that played at fraternity parties.

We honor John H. Beyer ’54 for his sense of history and the importance of preserving it, for his conviction that a meticulous restoration has as much to do with heart as with structure, and for his gifted blending of history, art, and architecture, past, present, and future.