E. Russell Learned

E. Russell Learned, AIA

Russell is a Norwich, Connecticut, native who believes architectural osmosis influenced his career path. The historic mill town boasts arresting examples of American design through the centuries, from uncomplicated colonial capes and grand Victorian mansions to Romanesque brick office buildings and a deliciously Art Deco Town Hall. He took them all in and even sketched a few to pass the time. He also had two family friends who served as mentors, and he designed a prospective addition to his high school for his senior project.

A masters of architecture grad from the University of Pennsylvania, Russell joined Centerbrook in 1995, and his work here reflects an eclectic bent, encompassing academic, cultural, religious, residential, and corporate projects. He was named associate in 2004 and senior director in 2014. He also has been active in architectural and civic organizations.

“I love projects that involve renovation or restoration or adding onto an existing structure, as we did at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Massachusetts,” he says. “When you repurpose a building for a new use, you allow its legacy to continue. This is often the most economical and sustainable way to provide space for clients. We did this at the Green Street Arts Center in Middletown, Connecticut, where we took a building that originally was a school and transformed it into a place for the community to pursue and enjoy the arts.”

  • Trustee of his alma mater, The Williams School, in New London, Connecticut
  • Member of the National & Connecticut Trusts for Historic Preservation
  • Past president of AIA New England and AIA Connecticut
  • Trustee of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
  • Chairman of the Hadlyme Ferry Historic District Commission
  • Hardly ever takes the Hadlyme Ferry
  • His family garden boasts six dozen tomato plants