TN Architecture Foundation

Architecture is the most public of all the arts. It touches all of us every day. It helps determine the quality of our lives and defines where we live, work, play, worship, heal, and learn – but architecture needs better public understanding.

Architects, public officials, businesses and individual citizens must unite in a partnership of excellence that encourages the creation of quality environments that serve public needs, strenthen communities, solve problems and enrich our lives.




The Tennessee Foundation for Architecture was established in 1985 in loving memory of Nashville architect Edward J. Meiers, AIA. His energetic involvement with the community, church and professional elevated public opinion and awareness of architecture.

The Elbridge B. White Endowment allowed the Foundation to expand it’s purpose beyond schoarlships and to reach out into communities across Tennessee.  The work of the Foundation continues in memory of other notable Tennessee architects: James Booher, AIA; Clayton Dekle, FAIA; Alan Jones; DeBerry McKissack, AIA; Burney Tucker, AIA; and Charles W. Warterfield, AIA.

“The mission of the American Architectural Foundation and the Tennessee Foundation for Architecture is to stimulate, foster and increase awareness of architecture, with a vision of a society that participates in the shaping of the built environment”  – Norman Koonce (1996)

The mission statement of the Foundation established its intent to provide:

  • Scholarships for exceptional students of architecture,
  • Grants for research, preservation, film and video projects on Tennessee architecture,
  • Grants for K-12 school classroom study programs on the quality of design and the fundamentals of the built environment, and
  • Grants for document preservations, exhibits, and architectural writing intented to foster public awareness of the built environment.

Grants have been awarded for the following projects:

  • New Licensee Convention Scholarships (AIA Tennessee)
  • Qualification Based Selection Council (AIA Tennessee)
  • Website Development (AIA Tennessee / Memphis Center for Architecture)
  • Antione Predock Lecture (AIA Tennessee)
  • Francis Mah Travel Grant (AIA Memphis)
  • Memphis Downtown Walking Tour Guide (AIA Memphis)
  • Special Events at the Memphis Center for Architecture (UT School of Architecture)
  • UT Student Assistant & Publication (UT School of Architecture)
  • East Nashville RUDAT (AIA Middle Tennessee)
  • “Outdoor Classrooms” Video for Public Schools (AIA Memphis)
  • 30th Anniversary Video/Exhibit for East Tennessee Community Design Center (AIA East Tennessee)
  • Archiving the Charles W. Warterfield Photography Collection (Nashville Public Library)
  • TeacherWorkshop on Design Education (AIA Memphis)
  • Enhaning Public Architecture (AIA Tennessee)
  • Vision for Downtown Knoxville (AIA East Tennessee

Scholarship recipients include:

  • Jonathan Perry
  • Steve Thomas
  • Jeremy Jones
  • Sarah Gilpin
  • Lance Champion
  • Gururas Kaur Khalsa
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