W. Easley Hamner

enroot board member


Easley was born in the small town of Altavista, Virginia and grew up in Newport News, Virginia. His high school track coach recommended him for a summer job that led him into a architecture, and a career that exceeded anything I might have imagined. At NC State, the School of Design(19955-60) provided an education that few other schools of the time could have. with superb teachers and an intense curriculum, he learned to think about issues in an entirely new way.

Marriage to Suzanne Leath, a short stint in the US Army Reserves, five years in New Orleans, and more recommendations brought Easley and Suzanne to the GSD at Harvard in 1966. Upon graduation he began work with Hugh Stubbins, where he stayed until his first retirement, and headed up such assignments as Citicorp Center and St. Peter’s Church in NYC, the Tip O’Neill Federal Building and Suffolk County Jail in Boston, the Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and international work in Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China (including 24 trips), Greece, Tunisia, and Israel. That first retirement lasted for three years, 2003-2006, and then a unique opportunity brought him back to work with Moshe Safdie as Project Director for the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore. When it was completed, he re-entered retirement in 2010. That fall he began a new career at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement.

Honors include election as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, long membership in the Urban Land Institute and supporting it as a Governor, even longer service (since 1981) on the board of Cambridge Community Services organization and as Chair for nearly 15 years, invited juror for eight architectural design competitions in China (including four for the 2008 Olympics), and frequent speaker on topics of architecture and travel in various venues.

Suzanne and Easley have a daughter in Los Angeles and a son in San Francisco. His interests are wide, including: cities of the world, photography, sailing, skiing, reading, and attending musical concerts. At HILR he has led courses in Asian Values: Exploring through the Experience of Singapore, The Soul of Ancient Cities I and II, The History and Culture of China, Four Islands on the Mediterranean: Crete, Sicily, Malta, and Rhodes, and A History of Architecture: One Architects View. He has also led or co-led six Digital Photography courses.  In the spring of 2012 he led a tour of Sicily for two dozen HILR members and will lead a similar tour this summer in China.