Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Bachelor’s in Architecture
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
City of Philadelphia
Director of Office of Housing and Community Development
Philadelphia City Planning Commission
University of Texas
Associate and Acting Dean of the School of Architecture
Chairman of Department of Community and Regional Planning
Vice President for Field Services
National Trust for Historic Preservation
John Chafee Trustee’s Award
Henry Jordan Award for Advocacy Excellency
Contributions to the Field of Architecture by a Non-Architect
Philadelphia City Policy Committee
John has had a distinguished career in planning, community development and historic preservation, including significant leadership positions in public agencies and non-profit organizations. John created and was the first director of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development. He served as Vice President for Field Services of YouthBuild USA guiding a national expansion of the YouthBuild program. From 2002 to 2013 he served as executive director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and was the principal public advocate for historic preservation in Philadelphia. John’s work has been recognized with the John Chafee Trustee’s Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Henry Jordan Award for advocacy excellency from Preservation Pennsylvania, an award from AIA Pennsylvania for contributions to the fi eld of architecture by a non-architect, and the Philadelphia City Policy Committee’s 2013 Leadership award.
John’s interest in architecture and urban design led him to work with Edmund N. Bacon at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (1964-68), to hold the positions of Associate and Acting Dean of the School of Architecture of the University of Texas and Chairman of its Department of Community and Regional Planning (1972-76), and to represent the United States at the Meeting of Young Architects at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
While working at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission John became involved in planning for low income neighborhoods and felt a particular calling for this work. When invited by Mayor Frank Rizzo in 1976 to review the City of Philadelphia’s housing programs, John took that opportunity to create the City’s first Office of Housing and Community Development and served as its fi st director (1976-80). After leaving city government, John continued his work in housing and community development as a principal of Urban Partners, a private consulting fi rm based in Philadelphia. Urban Partners assists non-profit organizations, foundations and public agencies in the planning and implementation of “socially oriented” real estate and in capacity building for non-profit organizations.
John’s interest in the revitalization of inner city neighborhood led him to take a leadership role in the development of YouthBuild programs to assist low-income high school dropouts. He was a co-founder of the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School and served as the chairman of the board since its inception in 1992 until 2004. He is currently Chairman Emeritus and Chairman of the Friends of YouthBuild. From 1995-99 he served as Vice President for Field Services of YouthBuild USA in Somerville, MA, where he was responsible for directing the national training and technical assistance program for 150 YouthBuild organizations throughout the country.
His interest in historic preservation led him to take a leave of absence from Urban Partners to serve as Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. From 2002 to the end of 2012, John was responsible for the development and implementation of all programs of the Preservation Alliance. His leadership resulted in a growth of the organization from a budget of $200,000 to over $1 million per year. During his tenure the Preservation Alliance was recognized as the premiere non-profit preservation advocacy organization in the Philadelphia region. Its programs included a strong emphasis on neighborhood preservation and a special outreach initiative to African American communities and historic sites.