After fourteen years with the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects and its affiliated Center for Architecture, John Claypool has retired and left his position as executive director.
Claypool served as Executive Director of AIA Philadelphia since 2001 and spearheaded the relocation of the Chapter and opening of the Center for Architecture in 2008.
In an interview with Natalie Kostelni for the Philadelphia Business Journal, Claypool was asked to comment on significant changes in the Philadelphia business community and government. Claypool responded, "It's a lot different place from when I arrived here in 1973. I think the region is gaining more confidence in itself. I think there are still some nasty challenges in front of the city such as its financial structure and the schools. ...There is unfinished business and it has a ways to go. The population peaked in the 1950s and declined until 2000. We saw the evolution of a great industrial power and might find its new footing and the entire community spirit of the city is strong. People are living here and not working here. I've known all the mayors since Frank Rizzo and worked for most of them and they are making progress. The city has begun solving some of its problems and I don't think we have created any new huge ones."
Claypool and his wife, Sherry, will be relocating to Colorado in the coming weeks to be near their children and grandchildren. Claypool writes, "We look forward to reinventing ourselves, staying young and building a life of continued service to family and community. We have purposefully kept that a blank page for now relishing the opportunity to consider what comes our way."
AIA members, Board Directors, staff and past colleagues joined in a celebration of John and his contributions to the AIA and the City of Philadelphia at a party at the Center on June 12th. His last day at the Center was celebrated with a small toast between coworkers on Friday afternoon. Here’s to you, John, your contributions to the City and AIA Philadelphia live on.
Rebecca Johnson will replace Claypool as executive director. Johnson has worked as an attorney with various Philadelphia organizations, and has served as executive director of the Fairmount Community Development Corporation. Read more about Rebecca Johnson here.
Click here to read John Claypool's Farewell Letter.
Photograph courtesy of Bob Graham Jr. Photography