K. Edward Lay


K. EDWARD LAY        Cary D. Langhorne Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of Virginia                                 

2019       KEdwardLay@virginia.edu          UVA Web: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~kl2u/                                                    


K. Edward Lay, Cary D. Langhorne Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Virginia, has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Architecture with a graduate minor in Philosophy.  From 1967 to 2000 he has taught in Architectural Design, Architectural History, and Historic Preservation at the University of Virginia, where he was Assistant/Associate Dean for Administrative and Student Affairs for nine years, was Director of Undergraduate Programs in Architecture for two years, and Acting Dean one semester. He led summer architecture symposiums from 1990-1999; from 2000-2012, he taught two popular seminars, "Historic Virginia Buildings," through the university's School of Continuing and Professional Studies; and since 2013 he has taught three different seminars on “Architecture in Virginia.”


Prior to beginning college teaching in 1963, he practiced as an architect in Pennsylvania for several years, being registered in several states and with a national NCARB certification.   As a private consultant in historic preservation, a 1981 team project in Georgia resulted in honor awards by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Society of Landscape Architects.  He was also a consultant for preservation research on the 1791 Cape Henry Lighthouse.


He has been Visiting Professor to Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland, has taught in the University of Virginia's summer abroad program in Vicenza (Italy)  for three years, has taught at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation in Illinois, and for two summers was Supervisory Architect for both the Historic American Engineering Record and the Historic American Buildings Survey of the National Park Service for recording America's Industrial Heritage Projects in Pennsylvania, and the preservation consultant with the National Park Service for Historic Green Springs, America's first rural preservation district (14,000 acres).


As an authority on American architecture and in particular Virginia architecture, Mr. Lay's publications include monographs such as "European Antecedents of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Germanic and Scots-Irish Architecture in America" in Pennsylvania Folklife journal (1982), Historic Preservation Guide for Charlottesville (1980), "Charlottesville's Architectural Legacy" (1989) on Jefferson's master builders in the Magazine of Albemarle County History, "The American Renaissance at UVA" (1993) and "Jefferson's Master Builders" ( 1991) in UVA Alumni News, "History of the Architecture School" (1988-89) and "Dinsmore and Neilson" (1991) in UVA Colonnades,  and as co-author of "Architectural Surveys Associated with Early Road Systems" in the Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin (1980), and "Castle Hill: The Walker Family Estate" in the Magazine of Albemarle County History  (1994).  His books include A Virginia Family And Its Plantation Houses (1987, 1989 second printing) and The Architecture of Jefferson Country (2000, 2002 second printing) both by the University Press of Virginia and both recipients of  book awards, and the second book's accompanying CD-Rom was released in 2001 along with 3300 of his documented buildings placed on line. In 2013, his book & on line The History of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia was published and his 16 audio-visual lectures Architecture in Virginia were placed on line. Articles include the dust cover for Early Virginia Courthouses, the forward for The Classic Hewn-Log House, and contributions to The Dictionary of Virginia Biography.  His many book citations include Hugh Howard's Thomas Jefferson Architect 2003, Bryan Clark Green's The Architecture of Thomas R. Blackburn 2006, and Kathryn Masson's Hunt Country Style, 2008.


He has been Chair of both Charlottesville's Board of Architectural Review and Historic Landmarks Commission, served on the Albemarle County Historic Preservation Committee, has been on the board of trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Preservation Piedmont, the Woodrow  Wilson  Presidential Library, the Center for Palladian Studies in America, Battersea, the Pioneer America Society (Vernacular Architecture), VHTRC Advisory Bd, Camp Holiday Trails (for handicapped children), Camp Faith (for  underprivileged children), and the  Cottages at Jefferson Heights and was Vice President of both the Victorian Society in Virginia and the Albemarle Charlottesville (VA) Historical Society.  Life memberships include the University of Virginia, Penn State University and Kansas State University alumni associations; Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society; Historical Society of Perry County (PA); and The Perry Historians. Additional affiliations included the Colonnade Club, Masonic Order, SAR, Society of War of 1812, and many university, historical, architectural history, and historic preservation organizations, such as the SAH, SESAH, APT, and AIA.  He has been on national awards juries, such as on the National Trust's Great American Homes jury for three years and the Preservation Awards for the NC American Institute of Architects.


A 1999 recipient of a Penn State Alumni Achievement Award, he is also a 1996 recipient of the UVA Alumni Association's Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching and university leadership.  Mr. Lay is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, National University Leadership Honorary; Tau Sigma Delta, Arts and Architecture National Scholastic Honorary; and the Raven Society of the University of Virginia. He has received honor awards for Historic Preservation efforts from the Mayor of Charlottesville, for "Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation" from the Thomas Jefferson Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects for his commitment to architectural education and research. Perhaps his most unique award was by the students in the School of Architecture in 1988 when they celebrated "Ed Lay Day" for which T-shirts with his caricature were made.  He was listed in Who's Who in Virginia and Who's Who in South & Southwest, and a faculty profile featured him in the 1999 UVA yearbook.       


Mr. Lay has had grants from the American Philosophical Society and Sesquicentennial Associateships through the Center for Advanced Studies at the University for research on Architecture in Albemarle County, for a study of antecedents of Ulster Scot and German vernacular architecture in America, and for research on Jefferson's master builders and regional architects.  Grants have included ones from the German Academic Exchange Service for study in Europe, two University of Virginia Faculty Research Fellowships to study regional architecture, and Navy-Marine Corps grants to develop collapsible, kinetic structures, and University of Virginia Dean's Forum Grants, Albemarle County Historical Society Grant, Perry Foundation Grant, C. Venable Minor Expendable Gift Fund Grant, Charlottesville/Albemarle County Foundation Grant, and Thomas Jefferson Chapter of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities Grant for publication of a book and CD-Rom.


Mr. Lay is a frequent lecturer on American Architecture, specializing in Virginia.  His popular "Virginia Architecture" summer seminar, attended by persons throughout America, completed its eleventh season in 2001.  Often conducting architectural tours and talks of Virginia buildings, he has done so for such organizations as the Prince of Wales Institute in Architecture, the Center for Palladian Studies in America, the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Decorative Arts Trust, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, the Smithsonian, the Preservation Alliance of Virginia, Monticello, Montpelier, UVA Art Museum, UVA Library Associates, the Irish Cultural Society, CW Antiques, the Virginia Conservation Association, Farmington Historical Society, Branch Museum, and the Wichita (KS) Art Museum. He has been an advisor and participated in PBS and H&G TV programs and was the tour leader for the National Trust for Historic Preservation's annual Christmas in DC and Virginia.  In addition to donating thousands of documents, photographs and slides to the university's Special Collections, he has originated three courses resulting in bound volumes also deposited there:  Architectural Surveys Series, thirty-six volumes containing over 600 buildings; Measured Drawings Series, over 100 volumes containing over 900 drawings; and Architecture In Virginia Series, over 190 volumes.


Mr. Lay's students have won many national competitions under his direction:  the Peterson Prize by the Historic American Buildings Survey: First Place twice, Third Place three times, and eighteen Honorable Mentions; the ACSA Design Plus Energy Competition: First Place twice; and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Correction Architecture Competition: First Place and four citations.


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Last Modified: 1 Jun 2017