SARA Founder Wilfred J. Gregson (1900-1998)

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 Born and educated in England, Gregson immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s, continued his architectural studies and, after weathering the Depression, moved to Atlanta in 1939 to practice architecture. He was an early advocate of design-build in which the architect was master builder, a notion the AIA frowned upon at the time. Gregson resigned from the AIA and, in 1956, founded SARA, which embraced the concept of architect as design-builder and other progressive ideas: collaboration rather than competition among members, affordable dues for more inclusive membership, and eligibility of non-architects for membership. Gregson sowed the seeds of SARA’s tradition of fellowship and mentorship—“architect helping architect”—and drew together the first generation of SARA members for its first conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1959.