Alvin Holm


Alvin Holm was the recipient of the Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2006—the first architect to be selected for the honor.

Alvin Holm earned degrees at Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied architecture under G. Holmes Perkins and Louis Kahn. He has said that his career as a classicist is rooted in curiosity about what makes “all the old buildings across the board so much more pleasing than ninety percent of all the new-built structures.”

His firm, Alvin Holm A.I.A., has been a leader in promoting traditional design and historic restoration for more than thirty years. Major projects include the Civic Fountain in Kansas City, Mo., the nineteenth-century European-collection galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a Palladian-style home in Alpine, N.J., and various commercial properties. The firm is also an important consultant for other architects in the fields of classical design and historical restoration.

Mr. Holm has taught at Temple University, Drexel University, the Philadelphia College of Art, the Art Institute of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, the National Academy of Design (where for twelve years he presented a course in Drawing the Classical Orders) and Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. He also served for years as a member of the Board of Directors of Classical America and as president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

The projects and restorations Mr. Holm has undertaken have benefited the built environment and thereby American culture. Like the other artists and scholars honored with the Award for Excellence in the Arts, he seeks to recover and maintain the vital links between the canonical masterpieces of the past and contemporary artistic practice.