Jaan Holt, Patrick and Nancy Lathrop Professor of Architecture and longtime director of the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, has announced his decision to step down as director, effective Jan. 15th. Jaan will continue to teach at the Center.

Jaan Holt with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC; along with Outreach coordinator Henry Hollander, Prof. Holt managed the design competition for the project on behalf of Alpha Phi Alpha, the foundation charged with establishing the memorial.

Jaan earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech. He has served on the faculty of Virginia Tech since 1972.

While chair of Virginia Tech’s architecture program in the summer of 1980, Jaan and fellow professor Hans Rott brought 18 architecture students to design studios at the just-closed Alexandria Elementary School at 1001 Prince Street. This successful summer was followed by the appointment of Thomas Regan as the first director and thus, with the support of the then-Provost John Wilson and Charles W. Steger, then the dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and now president emeritus, the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center was born on the second and third floors above a People’s drugstore on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

Steger appointed Jaan Holt as center director in 1984 upon the departure of Thomas Regan. Since that time, Jaan has worked diligently to expand the program and facilities of the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center to encompass multiple buildings along Prince Street.

“I greatly appreciate the numerous contributions that he has made to the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center. His influence, vision, and passion can be seen there every day and will be an important legacy for the center and the college… Jaan’s work in the National Capital Region has set the stage for our future. As we undergo this change in leadership at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, we have the opportunity to continue to build on the work he has already done to establish a significant presence for Virginia Tech, creating greater opportunities for students to study and gain experience in an urban environment,” said Jack Davis, Reynolds Metals Professor of Architecture and dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

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