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Richard Sammons (born May 18, 1961 in Columbus, Ohio) is an architect, architectural theorist, visiting professor, and chief designer of Fairfax & Sammons Architects with offices in New York City, New York and Palm Beach, Florida. The firm has an international practice specializing in classical and traditional architecture, interior design and urban planning. Sammons was instrumental in the reemergence of classical design as a major movement in America through his designs as well as his work as an instructor at the Prince of Wales Institute in Britain in 1992-3 and as a founding member of the Institute of Classical Architecture in 1991. From 1996 to 2004, the Fairfax & Sammons office also served as the headquarters for the noted American architecture critic Henry Hope Reed Jr. (1915) and Classical America, the organization he founded in 1968. In 2013, Fairfax & Sammons received the Arthur Ross Award for Lifetime Achievement in Architecture, an award created to recognize and celebrate excellence in the classical tradition.
Early life and education
Sammons was born in Columbus, Ohio and received his bachelor's degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio in 1983. His duel interests in Physics and Art, and his undergraduate degree in Studio Art, presaged the later intense focus upon proportion that became a significant hallmark of his design work. He received his Master of Architecture degree at the University of Virginia in 1986. His interest in classical design found support in this period of university education due to the leadership of Dean Jaquelin T. Robertson whose own work and background made him sympathetic to classicism. Sammons also developed a breadth of knowledge through his work as a teaching assistant to the internationally recognized architectural historian and Jefferson scholar, Dr. Frederick Doveton Nichols (1911-1995). Because the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Architecture focused primarily on modernism, Sammons looked to Thomas Jefferson as one of his principal instructors.
Sammons served his internship in the Manhattan office of David Anthony Easton, a classicist specializing in residential design. At Easton's office, Sammons learned detailing from Joe Marino, an architect who acquired his practical training in the Manhattan firms of Cross and Cross, and later Egerton Swartwout and Philip Goodwin. In 1992 Sammons established the firm of Richard Sammons Architect in New York City, New York. In 1997 Sammons and his wife Anne Fairfax renamed the firm Fairfax & Sammons Architects, PC. The firm has a second office in Palm Beach, Florida opened in 1998. Sammons is a registered architect in New York, Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.