hall of fame: f. cecil baker, aia

Cecil Baker revels in the "flywheel of energy" in Philadelphia, where he lives and works. His recent 100-unit condo project, the Western Union Building, rises above the narrow residential streets of Washington Square West.

Quintessential brick facades give way to light, airy interiors.

Completed in 2000 for less than $200,000, three infill townhouses on 11th Street rethink traditional residential elements--the Mansard roof, the corbelled party wall, and the block's storefront cornices. A vertical glass reveal skews conventional row hous

A glass box floats above the four-story, 1922 Art-Deco Western Union Building, separated by a shadow line of terraces just above the existing cornice.

A new tower anchors the adjacent street corner. Clad in copper-colored metal panels and black brick, the building dematerializes, helping to maintain the residential character of its neighbors.

At Inglis Gardens at Eastwick (1998), continuous porches encourage socializing among low-income residents with chronic disabilities.

The simple brick base and rhythmic A-frame roofs kept costs down while integrating playfully with neighboring homes.

Brick and zinc panels marry old industrial materials with 21st-century patterns.

Inside, stacked salvaged lumber creates lobby partitions.

Built on the site of a former auto service station and warehouse, the 60-unit York Square matches the height of an adjacent warehouse and steps back at the corners to echo the row house rhythms across the street.

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