Joe Brocato, Sr., visionary architect and constant champion of Alexandria, passed away on Monday at the age of 91.
Mr. Brocato leaves behind an indelible contribution to the built environment of his hometown, and, in many ways, the unique architectural pastiche of Downtown Alexandria is a manifestation of his work.
Throughout his life, Mr. Brocato remained a steadfast proponent of improving Alexandria. He was innovative, bold, and industrious– a true civic leader who remained active and involved even at the ripe age of 91. From The Town Talk:
During his architectural career, he and the firm earned numerous awards for their design work, including Louisiana Architect Association Honor Awards for: Alexandria Senior High School, Alexandria Museum of Art, Rapides Women’s Hospital of Louisiana, the Savings and Loan Building, LaSalle Parish Courthouse, Rapides Savings and Loan in Pineville, Rapides Parish School Board Office Building, Guaranty Bank (Tioga Branch), City of Alexandria Water Pump Station and others.
He participated in the design of more than 2,000 projects during his career.
Among his career achievements were election as president of the Louisiana Architects Association in 1963, his selection as Fellow of the America Institute of Architects in 1972, his induction into the Tulane University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989 and the American Institute of Architects Louisiana Medal of Honor winner in 1998.
He was a member of the Kiwanis club for 59 years, serving as president in 1962, and was Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce president in 1977.
I didn’t know Mr. Brocato well, but I did have the good fortune of speaking with him, earlier this year, about his vision for our City’s future.
My deepest condolences to the Brocato family and to the good people at Barron, Heinberg, and Brocato.
Some of BHB’s earlier modernist style buildings don’t really appeal to me but much of their later post-modern work (Alexandria Museum of Art) will prove to be much more timeless. Of note, BHB designed the building on the LSU campus that houses the College of Design. Mr. Joe certainly has ben a fixture in our civic fabric and will be missed.
He was my great-grandfather…