Frank L. Elmer, FAIA, FAICP

Lincoln Street Studio

Recipient of 2008 AIA Ohio Gold Medal

Frank was nominated by AIA Columbus for his achievements in Urban Design, but the Jury of Fellows selected his portfolio as an outstanding example of bridging Architecture and Urban Design.  

Frank L. Elmer extends the practice of urban design and architecture to the realm of the small town, motivating communities throughout the Midwest to examine the advantages of urban living and the means to achieve them.

– 2001 Jury of Fellows, the American Institute of Architects.

Leading planning in Ohio, Frank Elmer is noted for his integration of planning, engineering, and architectural perspectives which he has employed for nearly 40 years as a basis for innovative and visionary plans that have renewed town centers, spurred job formation and elevated the quality of urban life.

– 2004 Jury of Fellows, the American Institute of Certified Planners.

These fellowship induction statements recognize Frank Elmer as an early, vocal advocate of urban living and attest to the legacy of his personal, professional work. His passion for cities is pervasive in all that he has done. He has motivated communities to adopt new ordinances establishing the density and economic viability of urban districts, and to prepare plans that will urbanize community development patterns. His urban design efforts have spurred clients to seek urban development options within a predominantly suburban part of America. He has improved the lives of tens of thousands of community residents and businesses, and he has enlightened their governments.

Frank Elmer’s work includes three scales of focus– development and redevelopment of town centers, master plan preparation, and the design of historic district infill and restoration projects. From this total perspective, he has developed a unique vision of urban life and a set of urban design principles that logically ties the fabric of historic settlements to the need for modern architecture. His work consistently illuminates both the context of community and the sense of place for individual works of architecture, and is, therefore, a catalyst and testing ground for ideas. He argues that a single piece of architecture can establish context, and that new architecture in old districts must be modern and contextual to establish the necessary conversations among all the layers of old and new. His projects punctuate or enhance their settings, establish the sense of place, or singularly initiate the implementation of plans he has done. Examples are:

The Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, Ohio State’s first LEED Certified building. 2009 ACEC Outstanding Achievement Award.

Entrepreneurship Innovation Center, Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio (With Clark and Post Architects.) LEED Silver Certified. 2008 AIA Columbus Honor Award.
New Village Homes, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Columbus, Ohio. 2005 Grand Award, Builder’s Choice Awards, National Association of Home Builders. 2005 AIA Ohiio Merit Award.  2006 James B. Recchie Design Award, The Columbus Landmarks Foundation.

Science Village, the signature building of the Science & Technology Campus, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. 2001 AIA Columbus Honor Award.

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