A drawing of a 19th-century bridge in Connecticut by New York architect Morgen Fleisig is the 2013 Holland Prize winner, the Library of Congress and National Park Service announced. The Leicester B. Holland Prize recognizes the best single-sheet, measured drawing of an historic building, site or structure prepared to the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), or the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). It is an annual competition administered by the Heritage Documentation Programs of the National Park Service. The competition’s jury recommends winners to te Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering in the Library of Congress, which supports the prize through the Paul Rudolph Trust.

holland prize
Image courtesy Library of Congress
2013 Holland Prize winner Morgen Fleisig's Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) measured drawing of the Turn-of-River Bridge (1893) in Stamford, Connecticut. Click here to view a larger version of the image (PDF).

Fleisig, a practicing architect in New York, won the prize for his HAER measured drawing of the Turn-of-River Bridge in Stamford, Connecticut. Built in 1893 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. in Berlin, Connecticut, the bridge is a rare lenticular type. Fleisig had learned of this type of bridge from former Harvard Graduate School of Design professor Daniel Schodek while documenting other New England bridges with him for HAER in the early 1990s. Little documentation had been done on the lenticulars in the intervening years, and Fleisig found that the single-sheet format was ideal for delineating the beauty and clarity of the small and simple structure.

A submission by Nathaniel Bacon and Ivan Vanchev, students attending the College of Architecture Design and Construction at Auburn University, is the honorable mention winner. Bacon and Vanchev created a HALS measured drawing of the Main Gate and Auburn Oaks at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn, Alabama.

The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize and a certificate of recognition. Honorable mention receives a merit award of $500. For information on how to participate in the Leicester B. Holland Prize, click here. The prize is intended to increase awareness, knowledge and appreciation of historic sites, structures, and landscapes throughout the United States, and to encourage the submission of drawings by professionals and students. All the drawings accepted for the competition will be added to the permanent HABS, HAER and HALS Collection in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Images of many past and present Holland Prize competition drawings are available online. (For maximum detail, open the TIFF files.)

The prize honors Leicester B. Holland (1882-1952), Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), chairman of the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on Historic Buildings, head of the Fine Arts Division of the Library of Congress and first curator of the HABS collection, a co-founder of the HABS program in the 1930s, and the first chair of the HABS Advisory Board.