Edward S. Frey Award

In addition to the Religious Art and Architecture Awards, the AIA Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture (IFRAA) sponsors the Elbert M. Conover Memorial Award and the Edward S. Frey Award. Unlike the Religious Art and Architecture Awards, this award is bestowed upon individuals rather than projects.

The Edward S. Frey Memorial Award was established in 1981 by IFRAA, Inc. (which later became a part of the AIA).  This award is given to an architect to recognize his or her contributions to religious architecture and support of the allied arts.

Rev. Dr. Frey dedicated his life to his work as the Executive Director of the Commission on Church Architecture for the Lutheran Church of America. In that role he inspired architects to foster spiritual values in design. 

Dr. Frey was instrumental in fostering the three organizations that eventually melded together to form the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture. He worked tirelessly for half century writing, lecturing, and mentoring. 

Eligible nominees for the Edward S. Frey Award must match the following criteria:

  • Be an architect member of the AIA;
  • Demonstrate a passion for and dedication to quality worship and sacred spaces;
  • Foster spiritual values;
  • Promote a cross-denominational community focused on religious arts and architecture
Nominations will be accepted from IFRAA members from January 1, 2016 to February 1, 2016. A single letter of recommendation is required.

There is no entry fee.

Recipients are selected by a panel of their peers and IFRAA members, including:

  • Two (2) previous Frey award recipients;
  • Three (3) subject matter experts (architects) identified by IFRAA;
  • Two (2) AIA architect members of IFRAA.

Members of the 2016 Jury:

Scott Dale Hall, AIA
Charles Hultstrand, AIA
Michael Crosbie, FAIA
George Rafferty, FAIA
James F. Williamson, FAIA


To submit a nomination, please e-mail a single letter of recommendation to ifraa@aia.org.

Award winners will be celebrated at a reception for the Religious Art and Architecture Awards at the 2016 AIA Convention.
  • 1981 Dr. Edward Anders Sövik, FAIA
  • 1984 Robert Durham, FAIA
  • 1988 Nils Schweizer, FAIA
  • 1993 Harold H. Fisher, AIA
  • 1996 Edward Larrabee Barnes, FAIA
  • 2000 Edward A. Wave, AIA
  • 2002 Maurice N. Finegold, FAIA
  • 2010 Dr. Michael J. Crosbie, FAIA
  • 2012 George Rafferty, FAIA
  • 2014 James F. Williamson, FAIA
  • 2016 Thomas L. Kerns, FAIA