January 25, 2021 HBI Remembers Donald Stull
HBI was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of architect Donald Stull on November 28, 2020. HBI’s President Emeritus and board member, Paul McDonough, prepared this tribute to Stull, who served on HBI’s board of directors in the 1990s.
2020 will be remembered as a year of tragic loss touching the lives of hundreds of thousands American families and the HBI family and Boston’s design community were, sadly, not spared. On November 28th, we said goodbye to Don Stull, a former HBI board member and leader of the city’s architectural community. We were fortunate to have Don’s thoughtful, creative and pragmatic guidance for a decade and to value his friendship for a half century.
Don made his way from Ohio State University and after graduating with an honors degree in architecture in 1961 he enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. While still at the GSD he founded Stull & Associates and soon hired David Lee who began as a summer intern and became a life long professional partner and colleague. It was there that he also met Walter Gropius who became a mentor. After graduation he joined Gropius at The Architects Collaborative. Three years later he and David co-founded Stull & Lee and together they rose to prominence with such designs as the $740 million Southwest Corridor Project, designing and renovating 9 Orange Line stations and miles of parks above them. For that project, the firm was awarded the Presidential Design Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
He took an active interest in the South End and Washington Park urban renewal projects and became a vigorous advocate for the retention and rehabilitation of existing housing stock and harmonizing modern design with the forms of those historic neighborhoods.Later he collaborated with Sam Glaser in designing the Castle Square Tenants Development project in the South End.
Among the firm’s many other designs over Don’s sixty year career are the vaulted walkway at Ruggles Station connecting Columbus Avenue and the Northeastern University campus. In 1970 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio State and Boston Architectural College awarded Don an honorary degree in 2011. In addition to his HBI service he was also a trustee at Massachusetts College of Art.
He also worked on projects such as the rehabilitation of the historic Sears Crescent Building and also designed schools in New Haven and the South End and pioneered community planning principles and the concept of infill and manufactured housing systems.
Of the many prestigious architecture and designs awards Don did receive throughout his career in Boston are the Roxbury Community College complex and the Harriett Tubman house. The firm’s most recent designs and awards include the Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Excellence for the Boston Police Headquarters building; the American Institute of Architects Honor Award and the BSA Honor Award for design of the Ted Williams Tunnel and the American Planning Association / Massachusetts Chapter Social Advocacy Award.
Don was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects ( FAIA) and he has also been a leader by bringing national attention to the many unique contributions of African American architects, landscape architects and urban designers across America.
The HBI Board and Staff join the entire Boston design community in missing Don’s winning smile, kind and generous personality, creative talent, outstanding wit and sense of humor and his exquisite judgement and we offer our deepest condolences to Don’s family.