Hal S. Ayotte honored with 2012 McMath Award
Throughout his forty years of professional practice, Hal Ayotte, AIA, has provided his expertise and guidance to preservation efforts for some of the Pacific Northwest’s most notable historic treasures.
Ayotte, a recently retired principal at FFA Architecture and Interiors, Inc. (FFA), received his bachelor of architecture degree from UO in 1971. He is a registered architect in Oregon and Utah, and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Historic preservation has been a focal point of FFA Architecture and Interiors, Inc. since its formation, with Ayotte taking the lead and laying the ground work for FFA’s continuing success with restoration and rehabilitation projects.
Hal Ayotte led the charge for the rehabilitation of Crater Lake Lodge through seven years of research, planning, design, and construction administration that concluded in 1995. The completed historic treasure now welcomes visitors to Oregon's only national park.
Similarly, Hal Ayotte forged the way for the structural and accessibility upgrade and rehabilitation of Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier National Park. In addition to the inn, FFA was commissioned to design a new compatible visitor center within the Paradise Landmark Historic District. Both the rehabilitation of Paradise Inn and the new Jackson Visitor Center were completed in 2008.
Stephanie S. Toothman, associate director for cultural resources in the National Park Service headquarters office in Washington, D.C., says the NPS “has entrusted Hal and his team with some of our nation's most treasured resources,” including Crater Lake Lodge and the National Historic Landmark Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier National Park. “These are just a few highlights from the many projects important to us where we have relied upon Hal and his FFA team to serve as our trusted advisors and assistants.”
The White Stag Block rehabilitation is a source of pride for its ongoing effect on urban revitalization in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown Historic District. Again Ayotte led FFA working with stakeholders, as well as the design team, to rehabilitate three derelict historic buildings into an interconnected complex housing the University of Oregon’s urban programs. The three building exteriors including exterior cast iron detailing were restored to their former glory. The White Stag Block has won more than a dozen awards including the Timothy J. Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, Portland AIA/IIDA Awards as well as the 2009 AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Citation Award and has become a catalyst for revitalization catering to the steadily growing student population.
Other noteworthy cultural resources on which Ayotte has worked include Multnomah Falls Lodge (full renovation and upgrades to the busiest public tourist facility in the state); the Salem Passenger Rail Depot; the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla, Washington; and the State of Oregon Library.
Hal Ayotte has focused a great deal of his professional career on seeking opportunities to make a significant positive impact on the cultural resources of the west and continues to do so today – actively working with the National Park Service to secure funding for much needed improvements to one of their more recently established sites, Minidoka National Historic Site, a former WWII era Japanese internment camp in Idaho. Hal’s past, current, and future efforts in support of historic preservation are evident and highly deserving of recognition.