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Lifestyle // Good Neighbors
Christina O’Connor

Geoffrey Paterson

Nathalie Walker photo nwalker@midweek.com

As a young architect, Geoffrey Paterson was encouraged by colleagues to join the American Institute of Architects Honolulu. Now 85 years old, Paterson, a Kailua resident, still dedicates his time to AIA, organizing events and mentoring younger architects. Currently, he serves as secretary and is the chairman of Architecture Month, which takes place this month.

“I am just very happy to be apart of the organization,” Paterson says.

Originally from England, Paterson studied architecture at University of Oxford. In 1961, he came to Hawaii to work with developer Henry J. Kaiser. He went on to run his own architectural firm for 40 years before retiring.

As the chairman of Architecture Month, Paterson has been busy planning a range of events, which kicks off April 4 with a Hawaii Public Radio Pledge Drive from 6 to 9 a.m. Paterson and other local architects will help HPR raise funds by manning the phones.

Next up is the Architectural Walking Tour in Waikiki from 9 a.m. to noon April 13, which will feature a tour of historical areas and hotels, including the Royal Hawaiian and the Moana Surfrider. Paterson will be on hand to answer questions and tell people about the buildings. April 21 is Family Sunday at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

“This will consist of various activities for children of all ages to introduce them to the world of architecture,” Paterson explains.

Other events include a film showing April 17 and an architecture firm crawl April 26.

Part of Paterson’s goal with these events is to introduce others to the profession of architecture and its importance. He feels in recent years, architects have not been as widely recognized as other entities for contributions to building projects. “I hope that this can get people to appreciate architecture and understand architecture,” Paterson says.

His professional accomplishments read like a history of significant local developments and buildings. Paterson has had a hand in projects that include the Aina Haina Professional Building, the master plan for Hawaii Kai and the State Capitol, as well as a number of homes.

But for Paterson, he feels one of his greatest accomplishments is designing the Hale Pono Boys and Girls Club in Ewa Beach.

“I was proud of that one because after having done so many commercial projects, it was very, very fulfilling to do that for the community,” Paterson says. “That was the one that I was so, so proud of.”

Through AIA, Paterson also mentors younger architects who sit on the board.

“I learn from them, and they can learn from me,” he says.

For more information about Architecture Month or to RSVP to events, visit aiahonolulu.org or call 545-4242.

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