NCSA 2008 President's Award Minimize
Robert M. Craig
Professor of Architecture History, Georgia Institute of Technology


In 2004, NCSA President Robert Craig introduced the President’s Award as a way to honor Association members who have contributed in extraordinary ways both to our scholarly organization and to scholarship in interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies. He stressed that this would be a personal award, a personal tribute. This year, I wish to honor the man who created the President’s Award, as he created and developed so many things that now characterize our association. Robert M. Craig, Professor of Architecture History at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), is truly the architect of today’s NCSA.

Robert Craig’s contributions to the study of architecture are abundant and impressive. He is the author of Bernard Maybeck at Principia College: The Art and Craft of Building (2004), a magnificent scholarly work that is also clearly a labor of love. It restores to both the history of architecture and to Maybeck’s career the importance of his 1930s designs, inspired by the arts and crafts movement, for the campus in Elsah, Illinois where Rob Craig himself received much of his education. It received the Best Book Award of the Southeastern Society of Architectural Historians for 2005. Rob is also the author of the 1995 Atlanta Architecture: Art Deco to Modern Classic, 1929-1959 and co-author of John Portman: An Island on an Island (1997). His many articles range from significant encyclopedia contributions (including several essays in Sally Mitchell’s Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia) to the recent “Pilgrimage Route to Paradise: The Sacred and Profane along the Dixie Highway” (in the volume Looking Beyond the Highway: Dixie Roads and Culture), which gives a fascinating tour of some of the less well known--and often the oddest--attractions of our state. It was awarded the 2007 SESAH Essay Prize. Rob has presented numerous papers at academic conferences, and he has made NCSA members extremely knowledgeable in architecture history through his panel presentations as well as scholarly talks on the architecture of many of our conference locales.

Rob Craig’s prolific scholarly research in the world of architecture history is matched by his extraordinary contribution to the work of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association. In his six-year service as President, immediately preceding my own term, Rob introduced the Article Prize, the Emerging Scholar’s Award, and the Student Travel Grant, all of which have just been presented. In addition to his own contributions on the history and design of our conference locations, he has brought in other scholars with local expertise, making talks on and tours of the area something that frequent NCSA conferees look forward to eagerly each year. When it was time to find a new Treasurer for the association, as chair of the nominating committee I immediately thought of Rob, who very generously (albeit after much thought!) agreed to leave the relatively leisured post of immediate Past President to serve the Association once again in this demanding and crucial capacity.

It is a great honor for me to present Robert M. Craig with the 2008 President’s Award.

Meri-Jane Rochelson

President, NCSA