On February 23, 1909, a small band of politically minded architects convened the first meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of the American Institute of Architects in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. On the agenda that day were discussions about what position the fledgling organization should take on a proposal requiring all architects to be licensed by the state of Pennsylvania. As if that issue were not momentous enough, the other item on the agenda was how to go about promoting the concept of a statewide “uniform” building law to the legislature.
As it turned out, it would take another ten years for the Pennsylvania Association to craft and then shepherd the licensure legislation into law. The statewide building code was another matter entirely. Success would take a bit more time — eighty years, to be precise when, in 1999, Governor Tom Ridge signed The Uniform Construction Code
The stories of these two historic pieces of legislation not only underscore the historic impact of the AIA Pennsylvania mission but also the vision and artful persuasion that, more often than not, are required to craft legislation designed to protect and enhance the practice of architecture in Pennsylvania. To be sure, 2017 was no exception.
2017 was a busy year with numerous challenges, bumps and roadblocks in the way of the AIA PA Legislative Agenda. But the year was not without significant victories for our membership, and we have the governor’s signature and three framed pens to prove it.
Join me in reviewing 2017’s highlights and a look ahead to the newly formed AIA Pennsylvania Strategic Council here.
Robert (Bob) Kelly, AIA, IDSA
2017 AIA Pennsylvania President