William H. Grover, FAIA 1938–2021
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of one of Centerbrook’s founders, Bill Grover. He was a brother to his partners and a mentor to generations of architects who practiced in our rejuvenated factory that he tinkered with to make sustainable. His special blend of whimsy, inventiveness, and practicality runs through all that we do, and his spirit lives on as we continue the work he loved.
As a child in Ithaca, NY, Bill wanted to be an inventor when he grew up. A lifelong confluence of science and art ensued; he went from engineering and industrial design in his studies and early career, to becoming a well-respected architect of 42 years. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, his alma maters include Cornell University, Art Center College of Design, and Yale Architecture School. He was a founding and central member of Charles W. Moore Architects which subsequently became Moore Grover Harper, which, in turn, grew and became Centerbrook Architects. Bill’s work included bridges, numerous single-family houses, as well as academic and research buildings of all types. Bill designed 25 buildings at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, transforming the science research campus over the course of 34 years.
Bill loved to paint and was a consummate watercolorist; he twice restored a 1949 MG-TC (once as a teenager and then again in retirement), and he also loved music. He played trumpet all over Europe in college, and coronet in the Moving Target Jazz Band and the Corinthian Jazz Band. He enjoyed and was quite competitive at sailboat racing at Pettipaug Yacht Club, the Frostbite Yacht Club, and the Essex Yacht Club, winning regularly. He enthusiastically served a term as President of the Essex Land Trust.
Bill will be remembered by his family, friends and all his colleagues here for his down-to-earth charm, humility, wry sense of humor, creativity, and keen intellect. He is survived by his loving wife, two daughters, son-in law, and two step-brothers and their families, as well as his dear friends, and two devoted caregivers. Bill will be greatly missed by all who knew him.