A founding principal of Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas, the late John Paul Conwell Hanbury was a historic preservation visionary, mentor, friend, and true global citizen as well as an architect. His rigor and commitment to excellence continue to be attributes for which the firm is known. John Paul began his career with Williams and Tazewell Architects before opening his own firm, Hanbury & Company, in 1980. In 1985 Hanbury & Company and Evans Hudson Vlattas Architects merged to form the firm today.
John Paul's legacy includes several living proofs that that imagination, preservation, and activism were perhaps more effective than bulldozers in effecting true urban renewal. He helped turn Portsmouth into a significant historical and tourist attraction, investing some of his own money to save important structures in Olde Towne. The renovation of the Wells Theatre reinvigorated Norfolk’s arts community, providing a home to the nationally recognized Virginia Stage Company. His award-winning restoration of the Virginia Executive Mansion was praised by Governor James Gilmore for its faithfulness to the original as well as its practicality as a contemporary residence, and his work on Richmond’s historic Branch House today provides a vibrant home for the Virginia Center for Architecture. In addition, John Paul led the master plan for the restoration of Virginia’s Capitol under an aggressive schedule so that work could be completed in time for the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement.
Always moving at a swift pace, John Paul was nevertheless always available for advice and problem-solving, and was known to a startling number of people in his local community and beyond. He was recognized for his contributions to the profession by elevation to Fellowship by the American Institute of Architects in 1992 and by the Virginia Society AIA with the William C. Noland Medal in 1997. His portfolio includes eight National Historic Landmarks and dozens of structures on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Bachelor of Architecture, University of Virginia (1957)
“The concepts of excellence in public service and community involvement have been defined by his career.”Carlton S. Abbott, FAIA