Celebrating 60 Years of Design
by Samantha Brockfield
glaserworks Architecture & Urban Design is celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2018. 60 years of continuous practice is a noteworthy achievement in architecture – a profession in which a third of existing firms were founded post-2008 recession, and only one in ten are over 50 years old.[i] Throughout 2018 we are commemorating the firm’s history and celebrating a legacy of buildings and places that shaped Cincinnati.
Shaping Cincinnati’s Future
Founder Richard Glaser, a graduate of Walnut Hills High School, became fascinated with European building design while serving in WWII. After the war he received his architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati and teamed with Russell Myers in 1958 to found Glaser & Myers Associates.[ii]
In the decades that followed, Glaser & Myers would play an integral role in shaping Cincinnati into the city we know and love today – designing many of our signature buildings and public places while restoring historical icons such as Cincinnati Art Museum, Union Terminal, Music Hall and Findlay Market. [Check out the image gallery for some great archival footage.]
Some major commissions from this period include:[iii]
- 1959 – Peaslee School (now Peaslee Neighborhood Center)
- 1965 – Court Street plaza was designed as “little Washington D.C.”.
- 1979 – The Langsam Library at the University of Cincinnati.
- 1980 – Sawyer Point modelled a bold vision for the riverfront.
- 1981 – Redesign of CMHA’s Lincoln Court public housing (returning 20 years later to pioneer new urbanist design for development of City West).
- 1984 – Fountain Square West, imagined as a mixed-use destination.
- 1985 – The 525 Vine Building remains an icon.
- 1987 – Cincinnati Zoo adds “Botanical Gardens” to its name, implementing the 1970s gardens master plan.
Senior Principal Art Hupp started his career as an architect with Glaser & Myers in 1984. Art believes glaserworks’ longevity can be attributed to its people.
“glaserworks has always been its people. We have consistently attracted an amazing array of talent: people who love to be challenged; people who are both technically yet broadly educated and inquisitive about the world; people who take clients’ goals and aspirations to heart and connect our entire team to leverage their knowledge, experience, and ingenuity.”
From Good to Better
glaserworks continues to build upon the legacy of “Good Design” as defined by a Cincinnati Enquirer article featuring Glaser & Myers:
“Good Design is not simply the handsome appearance of the house. It is fitting the house properly to the site, leaving no unsightly building scars, and making the house look like it had grown in the trees.”[iv]
Renamed Glaser Associates in 1985 before becoming glaserworks in 2001, the firm continues Glaser & Myers emphasis on design and community. In 2016 glaserworks adopted a new tagline (“for Better Design”) while staying true to its original mission …
“… to craft an architecture that embodies our clients’ needs and aspirations in buildings and places which delight and endure.”
Today glaserworks comprises 14 employees, 10 of whom are registered architects. There are four principals (Art Hupp, Paul Duffy, Michael Maltinsky, Jeff Raser) and four associates (Lynn Wyrick, Mark Thurnauer, Adam Luginbill, Sari Lehtinen).
Principal Jeff Raser joined glaserworks in 2000. He has worked with neighborhoods throughout the city leading urban design workshops and helping communities envision their future. Jeff is a tireless advocate for walkable, mixed-use development as a means for creating dynamic urban places.
“glaserworks has always believed that urban buildings serve a higher purpose than just fulfilling occupants’ needs,” Raser explains:
“Buildings, and the spaces between them, are contributors to the public realm; they form the public places in our cities that enable people to experience and enjoy their surroundings. To that end, we always consider that our designs extend well beyond the boundaries of the site we’ve been given.”
Even as glaserworks has expanded its portfolio to include projects around the world, it remains a trusted partner to local developers and institutions, helping create the next chapter in Cincinnati’s unfolding story.
[i] Kermit Baker, P. (2017). Chief Economist, The American Institute of Architects. (A. Cincinnati, Interviewer)
[ii] Metro News. (1978, January 7). Glaser’s Artistic Signature Shapes City’s Architecture. Cincinnati Enquirer.
[iii] Cincinnati Enquirer archives. (2018, April). Retrieved from Newspapers.com.
[iv] Mertz, P. (1970, October 11). Sophisticated Minority. The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 57.