On the morning of Saturday, April 6, 2013, our irreplaceable colleague and cherished friend Orlando Ridout V died at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis where he was surrounded by his loving family.
A 30 year veteran of the Maryland Historical Trust, Orlando began his professional career with the state historic preservation office as an indefatigable field researcher and surveyor. Soon after joining the Trust, Orlando became the Chief of the Trust’s Office of Research, Survey and Registration. In this capacity, he oversaw and molded some of the agency’s most important programs. A founder of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, Orlando’s career is distinguished by an unparalleled emphasis on hands-on, enlightened field work.
For over two decades he taught a now legendary course in the graduate school at George Washington University on “Field Methods for Architectural History.” His 1989 book Building the Octagon – a study of the design and construction of one the nation’s first architect-designed townhouses in Washington, D.C. – won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Award and, in the words of one reviewer, “set the standard for how single-house studies should be written.”
Orlando’s scholarly, academic and professional accomplishments put him in the top ranks of the preservation profession. A mentor to many, he gave of himself freely and generously to anyone who cares about historic resources. His impact on our understanding of Maryland’s cultural landscape will be appreciated by generations to come.
This morning, Senator Joe Getty recognized Orlando’s contributions before the Maryland Senate. An audio recording of his remarks can be accessed by clicking here. (RealPlayer needed to access audio link; remarks begin at 3:50 in the recording).