Archibald C. Rogers
|Archibald C. Rogers|
September 29, 1917
December 6, 2001
Charles Center Redevelopment Plan
Archibald Coleman Rogers was born on September 29,1917 in Annapolis, Maryland. Rogers went on to Princeton University, completing his B.A. in 1939 before graduating with a M.F.A in Architecture in 1942. Following his graduation, Rogers served in the navy during World War II. Rogers started a small architectural practice in his grandmother’s Annapolis home following his return home in 1946. In the same year, Rogers was named as the first zoning commissioner for Anne Arundel County. He only held this position for a year due to disagreements over a new gas station on Ritchie Highway, but this marked the start of a lifelong duty of advocacy for the built environment. His small firm eventually led to a partnership with Francis T. Taliaferro and Charles Lamb. Rogers, Taliaferro, and Lamb designed Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie, the first on the east coast to be fully enclosed and built by a developer (James Rouse).
In 1953, RKTL relocated from the state capital in Annapolis to the city of Baltimore. In 1955, Rogers served as the first executive director for the Greater Baltimore Committee, leading the city to a period of redevelopment and growth. One major project that Rogers oversaw was the Charles Center Redevelopment Plan, which led to the Charles Center that Baltimoreans know today. During this period, the firm added George E. Kostritsky, an urban designer and professor, as a partner to become RTKL. RTKL evolved into a world renowned firm, headquartered in Baltimore with offices internationally.
Rogers was a member of the Baltimore Chapter of the AIA before becoming Baltimore’s Chapter President in 1959. As Chapter President and head of Baltimore’s Urban Design Concept Team, Rogers sought to revitalize the city, designing highways in a way that would be cohesive with the neighborhoods around them, focusing on aesthetics and the preservation of the neighborhoods. After this, Rogers went on to become a Fellow of the AIA in 1967 before eventually moving up to National AIA President in 1972. As AIA National president, Rogers championed the National Growth Policy, focusing on pressing economic and social issues. During his tenure as president, Rogers was invited to the White House by incumbent president Gerald Ford to take part in a summit on inflation. Rogers left his position of chairman at RKTL in 1976 and lived the rest of his time in Baltimore until his death on December 6, 2001. Rogers was widely respected as RKTL became a worldwide firm, and he served in a variety of positions in various communities including the Governor’s Council of the Arts in Maryland, the Maryland State Board of the Examiners for Registration of Architects, co-chairing the Soviet-American Symposium on Architecture and Urban Design, serving as a trustee at his alma mater Princeton University as well as serving on their Architectural Advisory Committee, and serving on the Urban Design Review Board of Cincinnati. In addition to these positions, his roles at RKTL, and in the AIA at both the national and local levels, Rogers was named an honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and an honorary member of the Society of Mexican Architects.