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In Memoriam - Don Prowler

Donald Prowler, 51, died of cancer on February 8, 2002

Don was an award-winning architect, consultant and member of the architectural faculty at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. Don was a visiting faculty member at many other institutions including Cornell University, and the universities of Virginia, Chicago and Washington. His specialty was creating ecologically sound and energy-efficient building design, passive solar design, and affordable housing. Don received the prestigious Progressive Architecture Research Award for his work on energy curriculum development for architecture schools and an award from Architecture magazine as a co-developer of the publication, Designing Low-energy Buildings. He won a number of national design awards in his private practice as well, and in 1992 was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. From 1994-2000, Don was a board chairman of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (formerly Passive Solar Industries Council), a national organization committed to sustainable, environmentally conscious building design.

Donald met his wife, the former Mady Kutsher, when he worked in the dining room at her family's resort, Kutsher's Country Club, in Monticello. They were married for 28 years and have two children: Matthew, who graduated from Princeton University last June, and Rachel, who is a senior in high school and will be attending Bucknell University this fall. Mady is the assistant director of communications at the National Adoption Center in Philadelphia

Don wrote the original National Endowment for the Humanities grant ‘The Catskills: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Influence of the Catskills in American Culture”. Although we did not get that grant, this was the genesis of the Catskills Institute, and we have much to thank Don for when we see how the Catskills Institute has helped preserve the Catskill legacy that he was so interested in.

I first met Don at Kutshers in the late sixties. His first job at Kutshers was as my busboy. I would see Don at Kutshers off and on through the years, and I was always so impressed with his accomplishments, his intelligence, and his humility.

He lectured at the Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library in Monticello, where I am director, many times on such topics as Catskill architecture, Catskills postcards, and solar energy. He also lectured at the first Catskills Institute conference at Sunny Oaks.

I am shocked and saddened at his passing. It was an honor to have known Don, and my sincerest condolences to Mady, Mathew, Rachel and the entire Prowler and Kutsher families.

- by Alan Barrish