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Henri Vatable JOVA

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Henri Vatable JOVA Obituary
JOVA, Henri Vatable HENRI VATABLE JOVA Henri Vatable Jova, FAIA, FASID, FAAR, a founding partner of Atlanta architecture firm, Jova/Daniels/ Busby (JDB), died on January 13, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida, after a short illness. He was 94. Jova was the last of a generation of young architectural imports to Atlanta in the early 1950s. Along with an emerging group of home-grown architects, Jova contributed to the city's post-WW II growth and architectural preeminence in the Southeast. His later work, and particularly residential design, was notable among his contemporaries in its fusion of modernism with classical design. This respect for the past motivated Jova's involvement with preservation and restoration projects such as the original Underground Atlanta that turned a derelict portion of the city's historic center into a vibrant and popular commercial district. He was instrumental in the creation of the Midtown Neighborhood Association and actively involved in the formation of the Midtown Business Association. His work to revitalize Midtown Atlanta led to the title "Honorary Mayor of Midtown" and to projects like Colony Square which was the first mixed-use development in the Southeast. While a member of the AIA National Committee on Design in Washington, DC, Jova worked diligently for the preservation of the Grand Central Station in New York. Jova was the lead designer for JDB on such landmarks as The Carter Presidential Center (1986 and 1993), Atlanta City Hall Complex (1991), Colony Square (1973), Peachtree Road United Methodist Church Sanctuary (2002), Atlanta Newspapers Building (1971), Bank of America in Buckhead (1987), North Avenue MARTA Station (1981), Carnegie Pavilion in Hardy Ivy Park (1996), and Robert Shaw Room for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (1983). His regional projects included four buildings for Southern Progress Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama (beginning in 1974), Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens (1989); and Dalton (Georgia) First Presbyterian Church (1989). Among many commercial interior design projects at JDB, Jova lead his interior design team in the renovation of the Academy of Medicine and in the design for the new corporate headquarters for BellSouth Enterprises and Robinson Humphrey Co. at Atlanta Financial Center. A graduate of Cornell University (1949), Jova's education was disrupted by World War II when he served in the U.S. Army Combat Engineers in the South Pacific, seeing some of the bloodiest battles of the war in New Guinea and the Philippines. Jova was born at his grandparents' home Danskammer-on-Hudson, an 1830's Greek Revival home near Newburgh, New York, to a prominent Spanish/French family on May 11, 1919. His grandparents Marie Vatable and Juan Jacinto Jova each traced their families back to Europe by way of the Caribbean. Baron Louis Francois Vatable was a French Governor General of Guadeloupe and Marques Sabas Marin, Jova's great uncle, was Governor General of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Henri Jova's father, Joseph Luis Jova, was a ceramic engineer and director in the family's brick factory whose "JJJ" insignia can be found throughout the late 19th- and early 20th-century buildings of Manhattan and New England. His mother Maria Gonzalez Fernandez Cavada was the daughter of a Spanish diplomat and her great-great uncle, Federico Fernandez Cavada, was the leader of the insurgents during Cuba's Ten Year War (1868-78) against Spain. He was captured, tried and executed by a Spanish Tribunal. His portrait hangs in the Capitol at Havana today noting a great patriot in Cuba's long struggle to gain autonomy. (Continued in next column)
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Feb. 2, 2014
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