1937 - 2019
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Donald Beekman Myer  August 25, 1937 - August 8, 2019  
Don Myer, longtime Washington, DC resident and architect, passed away unexpectedly on August 8. Don was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended the University of Illinois School of Architecture where he obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture and Urban Design. Don moved to Washington in the early 1960's to begin a long career in historic preservation. He was Staff Architect for the DC office of the National Park Service and was instrumental in the restoration of the Washington Monument and Union Station. In 1965 he joined the US Commission of Fine Arts where he served until his first retirement in 1997. During his tenure, Don guided approvals for the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, the Vietnam Memorial, the National Air and Space Museum and the design of the Washington Metro. He also administered the Old Georgetown Board, authored the book Bridges in the City of Washington in 1974 and served on the original Joint Committee on Landmarks. After his first retirement, in 1998, Don became the Clerk of the Works of the Washington National Cathedral where he developed the arts and stewardship programs, and oversaw projects including completing the installation of the stained glass windows in the Nave. Between 1990 and 2008 he served on the faculty of the Catholic University School of Architecture. As a consummate (and thoughtful) volunteer, Don served on the boards of the National Cathedral Building and Grounds Committee, the DC Preservation League where he chaired the Project Review Committee, the Adams Memorial Foundation and the National Preservation Institute. After his final retirement, he refocused his talents to concentrate on drawing and painting. As a member of the artists' group Studio 155, he exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Delaware Art Museum, the District Architecture Center, Studio Gallery and Adah Rose Gallery. Don is survived by his wife, Ellen Myer of Washington; and son, Jamie Myer, AIA, his wife, Jessica; and granddaughter, Zoe of Los Angeles. Private services will be held at a later date. Contributions in his honor may be sent to the Washington Architectural Foundation or the DC Preservation League. Don will be sorely missed, professionally and personally, by many thousands in this city. From stately monuments to the smallest detail, he dedicated his time, wisdom and love to this Capital city.

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Published in The Washington Post on Aug. 14, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
September 26, 2019
Don Myer applied grace, humor, and erudition to the often tangled and despair-inducing process of preservation and design review in Washington, DC. No matter what side I found myself on in one of these controversies, it always felt better to see Don's face across the hearing room. Our Nation owes him a large debt of gratitude for his role in realizing our Capital's still unfinished vision.
Robert Miller
September 18, 2019
It did not take much time for any of us to be charmed by Don's kindness, wit, and positive outlook on life and on people. We all feel enriched having known Don, and the deepest regret will be for Zoe, who would have loved growing up with such a fabulous grandfather - it will be on Ellen to supply all the fun and wisdom Don has shared with her for their wonderful life together.
September 10, 2019
Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA: A consummate Architect, Artist and Gentleman. I am forever grateful for his grace, friendship and mentorship. - Sean Nohelty
September 10, 2019
I somehow missed the earlier announcement of Don's passing, learning of it only from David Haresign's notice of the memorial service today. Our city owes much to Don for his long service at the Commission of Fine Arts and other agencies, as well as his teaching. And all of us who presented projects before the CFA are indebted to his guidance. He was both colleague and friend to many. My deepest sympathies to his family. May his memory be a blessing. Paul Spreiregen
Paul Spreiregen
September 4, 2019
I met Don in the 1990s following a career as an Intelligence Analyst and beginning a new one with the DC Preservation League. Don ably assisted me in becoming familiar with historic preservation as it related to DCPL projects that required CFA review. He was always gracious, especially with this newbie. Richard Busch
September 3, 2019
So glad to have known Don and will miss him.
Evelyn Wrin
August 18, 2019
One of the nicest guys I knew. My only regret is that I didn't get to know him 40 years earlier. But quality beats quantity, anyway.

His painting was an inspiration for me. As was his dry sense of humor. I will miss him dreadfully.
James Bond
August 16, 2019
For Ellen and Jasper,
in memory of Don.
Ginny Howard
August 15, 2019
Don was a wonderful neighbor to my parents and my father's stalwart "movie date." He was wildly entertaining to my nieces and nephews, and possibly one of my favorite Washingtonians of all time. Our family will miss him terribly.
Kim Egan
August 15, 2019
Don was always such a warm and lively and intelligent man. I loved when he was in the Gallery. You could feel his energy and his love of people and art. I am so sorry to hear of his death and send my love to you all.
Adah Rose Bitterbaum
August 14, 2019
Don was a graceful man whom we consider very fortunate to have gotten to know and love. As somewhat younger people, my wife and I benefited from his kindness, wisdom and the seemingly omnipresent twinkle in his eye. Don and Ellen remind us of how to live one's life in an elegant and giving manner. They have been and will continue to be examples for my family including my two children who were fortunate to have gotten to know Don as well. We will miss him terribly. Our deepest sympathies to Ellen, Jamie, Jessica and little Zoe. - Randy and Maren Siegel and Family
August 14, 2019
As a fellow member of the DCPL Building Review Committee, and a fellow U of Illinois architecture school alum, I felt Don was a friend from our first meeting. He was gracious, kind and generous. I learned much from his ability to truthfully package our DCPL comments into supportive, but pointed letters to our presenters. I'm grateful to have known him, and will be keeping his loved ones in my thoughts.
Elizabeth Milnarik
August 14, 2019
I feel privileged to have had Don as my brother in law. We first met in the late 60s when I was living in New York and I felt my sister was one lucky person to be engaged to Don. Throughout our time together Don always provided positive energy and a big smile regardless of the situation.
Richard Schwartz
August 14, 2019
I'm so very sad to learn of Don's death. I met him early in my preservation career, no doubt through Terry and Ham Morton. Don was a consummate gentleman, so witty and full of life. I just recently unpacked his Bridges book. May he long be remembered in DC.
Diane Maddex
August 14, 2019
Don Myer will be missed by so many people especially those that benefited from his thoughtful world view as well as his numerous accomplishments in Architecture, Education, Organization and the Arts.

Don was a very wise and generous man who freely shared his gifts and encouraged many others to take their gifts to the next level.

I am indeed fortunate to have some of Don's gorgeous paintings in my home. They give me a artful lift every time I look at them.

My heartfelt sympathy and love to Ellen, Jamie and Don's wonderful family, the keepers of his flame.
Michael Duvall
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