SAHS Speaker Series: Ken Smith

Our next speaker is Ken Smith, FAIA. His talk, “Thirty Four Years of Historic Restoration Work in St. Augustine.”” will take place on December 5, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Flagler Room at Flagler College.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Ken’s research process!

SAHS Speaker Series: Ken Smith 1

What drew you to your discipline? After working for other architectural firms for 15 years or so and generally designing new buildings like a 21 story high rise for elderly housing, banks, campus buildings, state facilities, and nursing home projects, I went to work for Herschel Shepard in 1975 to manage a project to design new buildings at FCCJ South Campus. While working for Herschel, we designed restorations to the historic Florida State Capital that I served as project manager on, I also managed Mayport Lighthouse Stabilizations, Ornamental Spire replacements at St Augustine City Hall, restoration of the Dunlawton Sugar Mill and a restorations at the Fatio House. I liked the different challenges of restoring the historic structures. After leaving Shepard, I completed Restorations at St Johns Episcopal Cathedral in Jacksonville with a pardner. I then started Kenneth Smith Architects in 1984 and was selected to design St Augustine Lighthouse Restorations and Herschel, who had taken a position at UF to lead their Historic Restoration program, recommended me to Page Edwards to design restorations at the Sequi-Kirby Smith House for the St Augustine Historical Society. Since then we have completed around 100 historic restoration projects in Florida and South Georgia.
What is your research process like? We use historic photographs and construction drawings, when available, we also try to look for evidence of previous construction at our buildings.
Why this topic? It was a good time to review our 35 years of historic preservation work, much of our work has been in the St Augustine area.

What is the best part about your field? The passionate people we have worked with like Herschel, Cullen Chambers, Dr. Bill Abare and many others. Also, the pride I feel for the completed building restorations.