The Arthur Ross Award is the oldest award for classical architecture in the United States. It “recognizes and celebrates excellence in the classical tradition.” This year, Duncan Stroik, practicing architect and professor at the University of Notre Dame, received the Arthur Ross Award in McKim, Mead & White’s historic University Club in New York City.
Stroik received his architectural education from the University of Virginia and Yale University. In 1990, after serving as a project designer for Allan Greenberg, he was invited to help implement a new curriculum in classical architecture at the University of Notre Dame. His work utilizes hand drawing, full-scale details, and watercolor renderings, as well as close collaboration with painters, sculptors, and other craftsmen. Learning from the great tradition has led him to visit and study buildings in situ throughout Europe, including the opportunity to measure the work of Andrea Palladio in the Veneto.
Stroik’s Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel in California was the first classical chapel to be built on a college campus in sixty years. His Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, is the grandest classical church built in decades. He is also known for the “creative restoration” of Saint Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which brought back the glory the cathedral never had. Presently, Stroik is working on a $28 million, 1300-seat chapel complete with a masonry dome, interior limestone columns, and two world-class organs for a college in Michigan.
The New York Times called Stroik a “Young Old Fogey” in 1994. The Wall Street Journal has said that, “Stroik has labored long and hard to reconnect Catholic artistic patronage with its ancient heritage.”
Stroik’s efforts to bring beauty back to churches led to the founding of the Institute for Sacred Architecture and its journal, Sacred Architecture. He is the author of The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence and the Eternal. His work is animated by the conviction that beautiful and durable architecture ennobles mankind and honors the Creator.
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