All of us can recall the amazing teachers who left indelible marks on our lives. Their brilliance commanded our respect and their passion for teaching drew us to them. Their greatest satisfaction came from seeing us go on to succeed in whatever we chose to pursue in life.
I was extremely fortunate during my undergraduate studies at the
learn from the members of a truly outstanding and diverse faculty. I’ve
frequently featured the writings of one of my favorite professors, the late
Bill Kleinsasser, here on my blog. Sadly, another of my noteworthy teachers, Rosaria Hodgdon, passed away last Monday. University of
Rosaria was a dedicated urbanist, an advocate for smart growth and the principles of new urbanism well before those terms became popularized within the environmental design lexicon. In this regard, we might regard her presence at the
University of Oregon—particularly in the of the early 1980s—as exceptional. Eugene
One of the courses I took from Rosaria was ARCH 441G – Critical Issues in the Urban Environment. Looking back now, I realize how much Rosaria’s lessons regarding the importance of the city to human civilization and its development are relevant to everyday architectural practice. I learned from her that “urbanness” needn’t only be the province of politicians, sociologists, and planners. She convinced us it is within the city where the contributions of architects to society are most impactful.
We lament surrendering to the passage of time those who have meant the most to us, yet we should rejoice in our memories of them. I’m very happy I got to know and learn from Rosaria Hodgdon.
Here is Rosaria’s obituary as published in the Register-Guard:
Rosaria Flores Hodgdon, 92, a woman pioneer in the field of architecture and an early leader in the Great Books Foundation, died September 8 in
after a lengthy illness. Needham, MA
Naples, Italy, she was encouraged by her family to
follow her passion for architecture, graduating from the
in 1945. After University of Naples
fell to the Allies in 1943, she met her future husband, David Hodgdon, an
American ambulance driver serving with a British unit that occupied her
family's villa. After the war they came to his home town, Naples
They were married for 64 years until his death in 2009. Wakefield, Mass.
She practiced architecture in
and at the same time coordinated 60
reading groups for the Great Books Foundation, at that time the largest adult
education organization in the country. Wakefield
In 1963, she went to work for Shepley Bulfinch in
, moving in 1971 to
University of Oregon hired her in 1972 to teach in its . She won the Cornaro
Tercentenary Award and was a Danforth Associate for outstanding teaching; she
was granted tenure in 1979 and remained for 20 years. She published one book
Housemoving: Old Houses Make Good Neighbors. School of Architecture
In New England her projects included the Somerset Hotel in
Boston, the Beebe Library in Wakefield,
and the . Hartford Hospital
She is survived by two sons, Andrew and Charles of Newton, and daughter Victoria of Portland, Oregon.