UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design Professor Theodore Seligson, FAIA, receives two achievement awards

Honors complement recently-created Seligson Fund for AUP+D

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a span of two days, Theodore Seligson, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) emeritus and visiting professor in the UMKC College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design (AUP+D), received not one but two achievement awards. The American Institute of Architects – Kansas City Chapter presented a Presidential Award on Dec. 6. The Historic Kansas City Foundation presented a Lifetime Achievement Award on Dec. 7.

“Professor Seligson possesses a curiosity that continually engages his students,” said Joy Swallow, FAIA and chair of AUP+D. “A self-professed student himself, he never stops imagining new solutions, new ideas and fresh ways of seeing. Having a career that has spanned the last half of the 20th century has given him perspectives that act as a balance for his teaching methods.”

Nationally known for his achievements in architecture, urban design and higher education in Kansas City, Seligson has committed his life and career to advancing architectural practice, education and service to the community. For more than 40 years, he served as principal and designer at his Kansas City, Mo.-based architectural, urban design and interior design firm, which is known as one of the most innovative design practices in the Midwest. Before establishing his firm, he was head of design at Kivett & Myers — a well-known Kansas City architectural firm. One of his designs was displayed at an exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Kivett & Myers also designed Katz Hall, which now houses AUP+D at 5005 Rockhill Rd.

Instrumental and a leader in the U.S. preservation movement, Seligson has served as president (1989), board member (1978-1994) and vice president (1988) of the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas City. He also served as a board member of the Historic Kansas City Foundation and Friends of Sacred Structures. He participated in the establishment of the Landmark Commission of Kansas City, Mo., and was instrumental in the designation of the first seven buildings in Kansas City, Mo. that were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He served as president of the Missouri Valley Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (1973-1975). He also is mentioned in the Congressional Record for his influence to save and restore the West Front of the United States Capitol.

Seligson received his professional degree in Architecture and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis. He has received more than 25 national, regional and local awards for his projects.

In addition to receiving two achievement awards, Seligson received a nomination for a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2010.

To honor Seligson’s contributions to architecture and design, the faculty and advisory board of AUP+D and Seligson’s friends recently established the Seligson Fund for AUP+D.

The fund will provide financial backing for lectures, special events and other projects that support and advance the AUP+D program. Through the endowment, AUP+D faculty hope to support a continuing dialogue on design and the built environment, which will be informative and of interest to the public and will enrich Kansas City for generations to come.

If you wish to contribute to the Seligson Fund, contact Karen English at (816) 235-1139 or

About AUP+D:

The Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design (AUP+D) offers educational excellence for students who seek a career in the professions of architecture, urban planning and design, historic preservation, landscape architecture and interior architecture/product design. AUP+D seeks to produce planning and design professionals who will bring a fresh approach to the spatial problems of the 21st century. AUP+D builds partnerships with neighborhoods, communities and municipalities in the Kansas City region and beyond to engage in applied research and give students experience in their chosen field of study.

About UMKC:

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

Tags: , , , , , .
  • Recent UMKC News

    $20 Million Scholarship Article in The Kansas City Star

    KC Scholars partnership also in U.S. News and World Report … Read more

    Geosciences Professor’s Research Cited in New York Times

    Fengpeng Sun co-authored study on California wildfire seasons The 2015 … Read more

    Bloch Faculty Interviewed on NBC Nightly News

    Brent Never teaches about Kansas City’s racial dividing line Never … Read more