William H. Cook

22 entries
  • "Dear Nancy and family: John and I were sorry to learn of..."
    - Helen Schaefer
  • "Dear Nancy A tremendous loss of a very special man with so..."
  • "Dear Cook family, I look forward to attending the service..."
    - Sasha Wilson
  • "Nancy, It is a true measure of someone that when they leave..."
    - Bruce Dawson
  • "Dear Nancy, I have been so privileged to know you and Bill..."
    - Dede Carroll
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William H. Cook ARCHITECT, FAIA 1924 - 2009 Bill Cook passed away peacefully July 24, 2009 at 6:00 a.m. surrounded by his family at home. Bill was born in Evanston, IL in 1924 and grew up in Glen Ellyn, IL. After spending one year at Iowa State College with his twin brother Ed, he joined the Navy in 1943 and received his naval commission at UCLA. As a Lieutenant he served on the escort carrier USS Saginaw Bay in the South Pacific. Bill returned to UCLA and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947. Having gained an interest in the field of architecture he was accepted at the University of Michigan, College of Architecture & Design where he received his degree in 1952. While at the U of M he met his future wife, Nancy Dean. They were married in 1949 and took a two year detour accepting a position as Chief Designer at the oldest furniture industry in Bogota, Colombia. He also designed several stores and bookstores in Bogota, Medellin, and Cali. His first architectural employment was with Orus Eash, AIA, working in Traverse City, MI and Ft. Wayne, IN from 1952-1960. The family moved to Tucson in 1960 where he accepted a position as associate architect with the firm of William Wilde, Architect, FAIA, Several projects included the U of A Steward Observatory on Kitt Peak, the College Shop, and the Irving Street Fire Station. In 1961 Bill formed a partnership with Robert J. Swaim, AIA. Their principle projects were private custom residences, small commercial buildings, public school classroom additions, and the Catalina Foothills district elementary school on River. Rd. In 1962, the firm, Cook & Swaim, received the 1st place award in the Horizon Home National competition, sponsored by the Portland Cement Association for a house design constructed of primarily cement products. In 1968 they merged the firm with Cain, Nelson, Wares, Architects. Bill took a leave of absence (1968-69) to oversee an international loan to the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, from the Inter-American Development Bank for major slum and community redevelopment (3,000 units) based on Cooperative Housing concepts. Cain, Nelson, Wares, Cook, Architects, were recognized by their peers as innovative and creative contemporary architects, and the new firm was able to offer greater productivity and do larger projects. Bill was president of the firm from 1972 to 1982. CNWC gained recognition with some 20 local, state, and national design awards. The Tucson US Federal Building was given a General Services Administration Award of Merit. Among the projects was the expansion and doubling in size of the Tucson Medical Center. Another CNWC project was for the Bolivian Ministry of Education with funding by the USAID consisting of six small rural teachers colleges. This was a joint venture with Bill's twin brother, Edward A. Cook, Architect. Bill joined the faculty of the College of Architecture, University of Arizona, in 1981 as a part time adjunct professor teaching architectural design and watercolor painting for architects. He also coordinated the exchange program for U of A architectural students to study at Universidad La Salle in Mexico City alternate years 1983-91. In 1983, Bill left CNWC Architects and began private practice in Tucson and Sonoita, AZ. With Nancy as his manager, his work was dedicated to custom residences as well as a greater focus on watercolor painting. In May, 1984, he was honored by receiving the title of Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the highest recognition given to AIA members. Previously, Bill had received the Arizona Architects Medal and had served as president of the Arizona Society of Architects and the Southern Arizona Chapter, AIA. During his architectural career, Bill helped several organizations with pro-bono architectural services. These included The House of Neighborly Service, La Frontera Center, and The Haven. Watercolor painting has been a major part of his professional life. Bill has had art shows since the 1970's including three at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. His most recent exhibit of new work was at the San Pedro Chapel gallery. More than 500 watercolors are in private collections here and around the world. In 1981 two of his paintings were selected for the permanent collection of the American Institute of Architects' gallery, the Octagon, in Washington. D.C. Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Clair and Matilda Cook and his brother, Edward Cook. Survivors include: wife (of 60 wonderful years) Nancy D. Cook; children, Robert Cook, Cynthia Cook-Keller and James Cook; grandsons, Carlton Cook and Joshua Cook; nephew, William Cook (Rebecca); grandniece, Rachel Cook; grandnephew, Matthew Cook; and sister-in-law, Barbara Cook, all of Tucson, Arizona. Bob (Friederike), Cindy (Thayer) and Jim (Randy) want to thank our Papa ("Pop" as we call him), for being an amazing father who showed us throughout his life how to live life with curiosity, creativity, and integrity, and to share that with as many people as possible. Donations in Bill's name may be made to the Habitat for Humanity Tucson, 621 W. Lester St., Tucson, AZ 85705; or to the University of Arizona Foundation, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 1040 N. Olive Road, P.O. Box 210075, Tucson, AZ 85721-0075. Citation given at the investiture into the College of Fellows, The American Institute of Architects in 1984: "His extraordinarily keen sense of proportion, balance and color is reflected not only in the contemporary design of his buildings but also in his sensitive and lovely watercolor paintings. With an ability to work patiently and unselfishly for the good of the profession and his community, William H. Cook has distinguished himself in his professional and public service for many years." A Memorial Service celebrating Bill's life will take place at The Temple of Music and Art, 330 South Scott Avenue, on Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on July 26, 2009
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