Architects and Architectural Firms





Robert A. Little, (b. 1915-d.2005) architect, was selected for the Cleveland Arts Prize in 1965 because of the excellence of his design work, but also for his role in introducing the “language and philosophy of modern architecture to Cleveland. He was ahead of his time in his energy-saving and environmentally sensitive features and believed that everyone could afford good design. Little came to Cleveland in1945 having studied with Marcel Breuer (East Wing, Cleveland Museum of Art 1971) and Walter Gropius (Tower East 1968). From that Harvard experience he sought to apply the principles of the Bauhaus. His first local commission in 1949 was the prize-winning branch of Halle’s Department store on Shaker Square –“a handsome 20th century building –of glass and brick, surrounded by trees and flowers” without “a single dovecote concealing a burglar alarm, and not one green shutter nailed open beside an arched window nailed shut.” He was recognized for the human scale of his work. He especially created homes that would enhance a family’s quality of life that is personified by the development of Pepper Ridge, the first planned street of truly modern homes. They were positioned for their landscape settings, and customized to the owner’s needs. The home attached to the barn-turned-studio he created for sculptor William McVey won an award from Progressive Architecture. It dramatically departed from the “cookie-cutter” approach of the urban sprawl era. Little was principled, and was the first to hire young Jewish and African-American architects and engineers. There are many more avenues for his outside of the box thinking. “Bob Little was the guy who stuck his neck out, and made it possible for the architects who followed him to practice modern architecture in this town.”

Website: Cleveland Arts Prize,, written by Dennis Dooley.


previous next