Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes presents a special achievement award to architect J. Robert Hillier during the recent Mercer by Architecture Symposium at the Lawrenceville School.

 LAWRENCE, N.J.—Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes presented special achievement awards to two locally based, internationally renowned architects during the recent Mercer by Architecture Symposium that was part of Mercer County’s ongoing 175th Anniversary celebration.

Michael Graves and J. Robert Hillier were each recognized for their outstanding contributions to the field of architecture during the Aug. 9 symposium at the Lawrenceville School. The event, which explored a portion of Mercer’s long history through its architecture, was sponsored by the County of Mercer and Preservation NJ.

Graves is considered one of the most influential and creative American architects living today, who has also applied his talents to creating beautiful objects for everyday life. He got his start at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard University, studied at the American Academy in Rome and then spent nearly 40 years teaching at Princeton University.

“In recognition of Mr. Graves’ 14 honorary doctorates, his more than 200 prestigious awards, his international recognition, and his place in the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Mercer County presents this token of our appreciation,” Hughes said when giving the award.

Hillier has spent nearly a half-century creating award-winning projects all over the world, first as the founder of the third largest architectural firm in the United States, Hillier Architecture, and today through a new architectural venture, Studio Hillier. His latest project, “Copperwood,” a 153-unit active adult community, is currently under construction in Princeton.

“Mr. Hillier is a titan, having led high-profile projects including the restoration of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.,” Hughes said. “Through his activities as both architect and developer, Mr. Hillier has preserved more than 300 acres of land in New Jersey and helped preserve the state’s architectural heritage by restoring historic buildings.”

Watch the Mercer County 175th Anniversary website for information about future events: www.mercer175.org.