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Habitat for Humanity homes designed to match historic district styles

Habitat for Humanity and classical architects eye historic
districts to build traditionally-styled, affordable homes

WASHINGTON (Jan. 5, 2005) — Habitat for Humanity International and The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America announced today that the organizations will collaborate on a national project to build affordable, classically-styled homes in historic districts across the United States. Partially funded by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, the pilot project will design and construct a model home in three cities known for their distinguished historic districts — Savannah, Ga., Rochester, NY, and Norfolk, Va.

“This project sets the foundation for classical architects to use thoughtful design to enhance the living space of families who could not otherwise afford it while preserving and strengthening the fabric of historical neighborhoods,” said Paul Gunther, president and project director, ICA&CA. “It will provide cost-effective ways for Habitat affiliates to meet increasingly stringent landmark and zoning requirements and accelerating project approvals.”

HFHI and ICA&CA received $50,000 from NEA to help underwrite the cost of the project, which will begin January 2005 and expected to end in June 2006. Partnering on the construction of the houses are:
• Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity, the largest builder of infill housing in Savannah, Ga. constructing 81 houses since 1983, will collaborate with architects Merill and Pastor. The firm has won three national and 11 Florida AIA design awards. The Savannah firm of Barnard and King Architects will serve as associate architect.
• Flower City Habitat for Humanity, Rochester, the second-largest HFHI affiliate in the northeast having built or renovated more than 120 houses, will collaborated with Ferguson & Shamamian Architects LLP of New York City. This firm has established a design idiom that combines a classical architectural vocabulary with creative design solutions to modern residences. The associate architect will be Gardner Plus Architects of Rochester.
• South Hampton Roads Habitat for Humanity, Norfolk, which has built 113 homes for needy families, will partner with Mason Andrews, a Norfolk native and experienced architect and developer.

Upon completion of the homes, ICA&CA will develop and distribute a publication featuring an overview of design principles and architectural styles, as well as community planning and landscaping concepts. The partnership will help Habitat for Humanity affiliates build classical houses that fit seamlessly into their context and reinforce the character of the surrounding communities. Raymond Gindroz, co-founder and principal of Urban Design Associates, Pittsburgh, Penn., will oversee this aspect of the project.

“This project takes Habitat for Humanity to a whole new level in home building,” said Tom Jones, vice president and managing director, HFHI Washington Office. “Working with ICA&CA will enable us to access neighborhoods that have traditionally resisted the construction of Habitat houses and demonstrate that our homes can not only fit in, but improve these communities.”

Conceived as a long-term initiative, the ICA&CA will work with HFHI to identify additional architects and Habitat affiliates to replicate the program, allowing them to choose residential styles and motifs that best suit their neighborhood. The ICA&CA will also collaborate with the Habitat for Humanity University located in Americus, Ga., to create an e-course or instructional design module using the three model homes as case studies.

To learn more about the Habitat for Humanity-ICA&CA Classical Home Project or to arrange an interview with Paul Gunther or Tom Jones, please contact Kathleen Moore at or 202-628-9171 ext. 4918.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.

About The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America
The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts. ICA&CA fulfills its mission through four program areas: education, publications, awards, and advocacy. National headquarters are based in New York City with a growing roster of regional affiliates located throughout the country.