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Charles Henry Atherton ’54 *57

Published in Feb. 15, 2006, issue

Charlie died Dec. 3, 2005, from injuries he suffered after being struck by a car in Washington, D.C., two days earlier.

Born in Kingston, Pa., Charlie prepared for college at Wyoming Seminary. At Princeton he earned a bachelor's in architecture and an MFA in 1957. He served in the Naval Reserve from 1957 to 1960.

His Washington professional career spanned 39 years of work in the Commission of Fine Arts, where he was its secretary and chief administrative officer until his retirement in 2004. Charlie was involved in all major federal architectural projects in Washington and was a guiding force in the development of its design infrastructure, from the Metro system to the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue and the design features of the city's monumental core.

Charlie was inducted into the College of the American Institute of Architects in 1984, and in 2005, he received its Thomas Jefferson Award for his career in public architecture. His professional awards include the Martin Luther King Jr. award for community service, a lifetime achievement award from the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and induction into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame.

The class sends condolences to his sons, Charles and Thomas, and his daughter, Sarah.

The Class of 1954

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