James Swan

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Episode 220: Peter Pennoyer

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Peter Pennoyer is a passionate and dedicated advocate for the relevance of traditional and classical architecture in contemporary practice. Peter established his firm in 1990 and it has since grown to include four partners, fifty associates, and four interior designers. Peter has followed an unusual path in his career as an architect and historian. From his education at Columbia University in the early days of Post Modernism, to his first independent and modern commissions for the Warhol Factory and Keith Haring’s Pop Shop on Lafayette Street, Peter emerged with a conviction that his firm could serve as a laboratory for the practice of architecture inspired by history.  He has made the study of history the generating force of his firm and believes that by mastering the interpretation of architectural history, he and his colleagues design projects that are both modern and classical.


Through scholarship, education, and advocacy, Peter seeks to further enrich the discourse of architecture today. With his co-author, Anne Walker, he is the author of four award-winning monographs on architects of the first half of the 20st century: The Architecture of Delano and Aldrich, The Architecture of Warren & Wetmore, The Architecture of Grosvenor Atterbury, and New York Transformed: The Architecture of Cross & Cross. Their lectures on their monographs, architectural history, and urban design have reached audiences across the country and abroad. In addition, Peter and Anne are adjunct professors in the Department of Urban Design and Architecture Studies at New York University where they teach a seminar that emphasizes the civic potential and understanding of architectural history in New York City.


Peter uses his scholarship and knowledge of New York City as a springboard to advocate for positions and designs he feels reflect the values of his firm. He actively participates in the civic dialogue among neighborhood groups, professionals, and government agencies, and takes positions for architecture that is contextual and respectful to the fabric of the city.


Peter is a trustee of The Morgan Library & Museum and the Whiting Foundation, is a National Peer Reviewer for the General Services Administration, and is the chairman of the Fellowship Committee of the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation. He has served on the Landmark Preservation Advisory Committee, the Preservation Committee of the Municipal Art Society, and as chairman of scholarships at the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He has served on the boards of Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, and the Institute of Classical Architecture of Art, where he was chairman of the Board of Trustees. He is the recipient the Olana Partnership’s Frederic E. Church Award recognizing his transformative work in architecture and design.  Peter was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2013.


Peter received both his undergraduate degree and his Master of Architecture from Columbia University and is a registered architect in New York, California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.


Peter and his wife, the interior decorator Katie Ridder, have three children and live in Bronxville, New York. They are the authors of the new book A House in the Country, which chronicles the conception, design, decoration, and landscaping of their country house in Millbrook, New York,

Explore Peter’s Website here

Add a copy of Peter’s book, A House in the Country, to your design library with one click here

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