DCPL Trustee Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA passed away unexpectedly on August 8th. Don called the City of Washington home since 1963 when there was ample opportunity to combine his architectural training with an emerging historic preservation movement. Early restoration work for the National Park Service was combined with HABS study of Washington’s architecture. Later, serving as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Don incorporated historic preservation experience with design review, including serving with the original Joint Committee on Landmarks and administering the Old Georgetown Board. He served on the faculties of the Smithsonian Associates and Catholic University teaching Washington architectural history and urban conservation. He also served as the Clerk of the Works for the Washington National Cathedral. Volunteer activities have included leadership roles with the American Institute of Architects and the Adams Memorial Foundation.
Don’s trusteeship with the DC Preservation League focused on its Project Review Committee, Don served on the committee from 2008-2019, serving as the from 2010 -2014. His leadership and participation have fundamentally shaped the character of Washington, DC through review of major development projects affecting historic landmarks and within historic districts.
Don was also a recognized Botanical Artist. His work is in several collections, been shown in a number of galleries and exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery and the Delaware Art Museum.
DCPL’s Trustees and Staff will very much miss his wisdom and guidance.
What Don’s colleagues had to say about him:
“He was a unique and wonderful man and I am very glad I was able to get to know him and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his company. He will be sorely missed.” – Rob McLennan, Chair, DCPL Project Review Committee
“Don was such a generous, kind man, and I so admired his ability to acknowledge the good work of our presenters, while also letting them know we had concerns about their work…he was a master at that. We both attended the University of Illinois, and I always enjoyed sharing that with him.” – Elizabeth Milnarik, Project Review Committee Member
“I am so grateful I was able to serve with Don and will miss his graciousness, enthusiasm, and depth of knowledge. He was truly a wonderful man.” – Dana Litowitz, Project Review Committee Member
“I’ve known Don for many years and always treasured his friendship. He was a consummate professional – thoughtful, constructive, and fair, and a talented watercolorist, as well as a wonderful, warm person with a mischievous sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye. He will be greatly missed…” – Darwina Neal, FASLA, Project Review Committee Member
“I knew Don for many years and had the greatest respect for him. I always learned so much from him. He was a big reason why I joined the DCPL board. Such a pleasure to always see him. He will be missed. ” – Amy Ballard, DCPL Board of Trustees
“Big loss for us and our community. His contribution and style will surely be missed by all.” – Gerard Heiber, DCPL Board of Trustees