Alumnus Remembered for Lifelong Commitment to KSA, Design Excellence


The Knowlton School of Architecture is saddened to announce the passing of alumnus and long-time friend and supporter of the School, Frank Elmer. Frank passed away on Tuesday, December 11 at his home after a long illness.  He earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kent State University and, in 1967, received a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the KSA. 

Frank was an architect and city planner with over 30 years of experience in private practice. He began his professional career as a member of the Knowlton School of Architecture faculty, teaching planning and urban design.  In addition to his service as an educator, Frank had long been a fixture at the School as a design juror, advisor, and a regular attendee at public lectures.  Frank, with his partner Ruth Gless, has also been a steady supporter of the KSA’s Office Associateship Program, sponsoring a series of KSA graduate assistants, and endowing the Architectural Digital Library Fund. 

Also with Ruth Gless, in 1988 Frank founded Lincoln Street Studio, a firm that has produced some of the finer buildings on the OSU campus and within Ohio, including the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, Page Hall and the McCracken Electric Substation. Frank’s award-winning work is characterized by innovation and context.  An early, vocal, and committed advocate of urban living, his passion for cities is a pervasive theme both in architecture and in planning.  As an architect, he is known for his ability to extend the practice of architecture beyond the design of a single building to create places that reinforce connections between people and enhance urban life.  Frank won numerous design and planning awards, including being honored as the 2008 recipient of the AIA Ohio Gold Medal.  Frank was one of only a handful of Americans who was a Fellow of both the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Frank's dry wit and commitment to design excellence will be missed.