Semes receives Clem Labine award

Author: Meaghan Veselik

Steven Semes, associate professor and academic director of the Rome Studies Program, has been named the 2010 recipient of the Clem Labine Award. Sponsored by Restore Media, publisher ofTraditional Building and Period Homes magazines, the Labine Award goes to the person who has done the most to “foster humane values in the built environment.”

Semes will be honored October 21 in Chicago at the Restore Media Awards Dinner. The ceremony, which will also honor the 2010 Palladio Award winners, is part of the Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference, which will be held October 20 to 23.

Semes received the award for his work in preservation and sensitive design, as well as his articles, blogs, lectures and his 2009 book, The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation, which argues that context matters and new buildings and additions to old buildings should be harmonious with their neighbors.

“The goal of the award is to honor an individual who, over an extended period of time, has demonstrated a personal commitment to infusing humane values into the creation of public and urban spaces,” says Clem Labine, founder of Traditional BuildingPeriod Homes and Old-House Journal. “The award’s underlying conviction is that the humanist principles of the Classical tradition are essential to creating a civil society.”

Co-chairs of the Award Selection Committee Martha McDonald, editor of Traditional Building magazine, and Will Holloway, editor of Period Homes magazine, said Semes’ book is a major development in urban theory, and sets forth new criteria for what is appropriate in the creation of people-friendly civic spaces.

A practicing architect for more than 30 years, Semes has designed a wide variety of projects for preservation and new construction throughout the United States. He is also the author of The Architecture of the Classical Interior and a contributor to The Elements of Classical Architecture. His essays and reviews have appeared in the National Trust Forum JournalTraditional BuildingPeriod Homes, and American Arts Quarterly. He is a Fellow Emeritus of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America.