The Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati Honors
James T. Fitzgerald, FAIA, Chairman Emeritus of FRCH Design Worldwide
with the Alice and Harris Weston Apple Award
The Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati (AFC) honored James T. Fitzgerald, FAIA with the Alice and Harris Weston Apple Award at the Apple Award Gala on June 9, 2016. The Award honors his significant contributions to improving Cincinnati’s built environment by building an internationally renowned design firm headquartered in Cincinnati and serving on numerous Boards that have dramatically impacted the quality of architecture and life in the community.
Jim founded FRCH Design Worldwide, formerly known as Space Design International, in 1968 and spearheaded the company’s growth from a small interior architecture practice serving the Greater Cincinnati market to what has grown to a 300+ person, multi-disciplinary, multi-office design and architecture firm specializing in retail, entertainment, corporate, financial and hospitality projects throughout the U.S. and in 25 countries around the world. During his career Jim was a national pioneer in expanding the role of the architect from simply building designer to assuming the role of creator of the total built environment by integrating architecture, interior design and graphic design into a cohesive integrated environment. Jim’s influence is seen locally in many of FRCH’s completed projects including the design of the massive stone reliefs of Cincinnati Reds’ heroics and the environmental graphics at Great American Ballpark, the renovated Fifth Third Bank Headquarters Building on Fountain Square, the Corbett Opera Center at Music Hall and the recent lobby renovation at the Contemporary Arts Center.
One of the projects Jim has taken most satisfaction in was conceiving, along with Carl Solway, the monumental public artwork created by the renowned Opt-Art painter, Julian Stanczak. Commissioned by Fifth Third Bank in 2008, the dynamic art piece spans the entire exterior wall of a parking structure along Sixth Street, across from the Contemporary Arts Center, in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.
Throughout his career Jim has served on many boards locally and nationally. He has served as President of AIA Cincinnati and Trustee of AIA Ohio. In 1996, he was named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and, in 2003, was awarded the AIA Ohio Gold Medal for his contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture in the state of Ohio. He has served as National Chair of both the AIA Interiors Committee and the AIA International Committee.
Through Jim’s involvement on many local boards and committees he has been hands-on in influencing the built environment in Cincinnati. He is a longtime member of the Cincinnati Urban Design Review Board, a past Board member of Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) and Chatfield College. He is a Trustee and Vice President of the Board of the Cincinnati Opera and Vice President of the Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society Board. He has been a long-time Trustee and also past President of the Contemporary Arts Center and has served twice as its Interim-Director. While on the CAC Board, Jim also served on the Architect Selection Committee and the Building Committee for the Zaha Hadid designed building at Sixth and Walnut. He currently serves on Boards of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, the Saint Mary Church and the Contemporary Arts Center.
The Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati grants the Apple Award annually to an entity or individual that exemplifies the foundation’s mission to increase and encourage improvement of the built environment of Greater Cincinnati.
The Gala event, which was held Thursday, June 9, 2016, at the Anderson Pavilion at Smale Park, raises funds for the educational programs offered by AFC year round, including Design LAB: Learn And Build (formerly Architecture by Children), a school based program serving approximately 1,900 students annually.
Since 1982, AFC has enriched the Greater Cincinnati community by connecting people with the places they live, learn, work and play. Through programming and educational outreach, AFC inspires public engagement in shaping the built environment.