Roy J. Solfisburg III
Class of 2016
Visual Arts – Architecture
National Honor Award, renovation of The Chicago Cultural Center
Florida Governor’s Award, Saenger Theatre, Pensacola
Distinguished Building Award, McGaw Hall renovation,
100 Top Architects in the World, firm award, Architectural Digest
Member of American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Elected a Fellow by American Institute of Architects
Sofisburg grew up in Aurora and graduated from West Aurora High School. He then attended the University of Munich, Germany and Williams College in Massachusetts where he received a degree in Art History. It was at the University of Pennsylvania that he received his Master’s degree in Architecture.
He joined the prestigious firm of Holabird and Root in Chicago starting out at the plan counter and eventually became the Senior Managing Partner/Designer Partner. Holabird and Root was founded in 1880 and is the second oldest architectural firm in the United States. In 1982, Holabird and Root was given the American Institute of Architect’s “National Firm of the Year Award” for distinguished architecture. This award was bestowed to the firm under Solfisburg’s guidance, design and management of the firm. That same year Sofisburg was named a "Fellow" of the American Institute of Architects.
He became best known for his performing arts centers, corporate buildings, hospital architecture and later his residential designs. He was instrumental in designing the Award-Winning Lucent Technologies Network Software Center, a five building integrated design complex in Lisle, Illinois just off the East-West Expressway. He also designed the Award-Winning Theater within the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue, along with DePauw University Performing Arts Center in Indiana, and Northwestern University’s sports arena now known as Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Solfisburg received numerous awards and accolades in the area of residential design as well. A notable project here in Illinois is his house in Wilmette, which was featured in the Chicago Tribune for its unusual design. Architectural Digest brought worldwide attention to several of the homes he designed in Florida, where he currently resides.
Solfisburg was a lecturer on the Prairie School of Design and Domestic Architecture styles, which former Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame Inductee, George Grant Elmslie was a strong proponent. He continues to maintain a strong interest in the fine arts, especially art created on paper, such as etchings, silk screens and watercolors.