Retired Lexington architect Byron Foster Romanowitz died November 28, 2022. A 1951 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, Romanowitz received his Master of Fine Arts from the Princeton University School of Architecture in 1953. He was the retired President/CEO of Johnson Romanowitz Architects and Planners located in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. While president of his firm, Romanowitz served as architectural designer for most of his firm’s over 1,200 projects throughout Kentucky, including campus master plans, hundreds of college/university projects on sixteen campuses, major hotels, apartment buildings, hospital buildings, banks, public and private schools, and airport projects. Notable designs which transformed the landscape of both downtown Lexington and the University of Kentucky include the former Bank of Lexington Building on Vine Street, the Lexington Financial Center, Singletary Center for the Arts, Patterson Office Tower, aspects of the Kincaid Towers project, and the Radisson Hotel-Vine Center.
Lucy Jones, of Lexington’s mid-century design league, described Romanowitz as “a pioneer of modernist architecture in Lexington. His many contributions included introducing the bifold plate roofline to our city via Eastland Bowl. His legacy will live on in his dear family and the beautiful buildings he created.”
Many remember Romanowitz as a professional jazz musician, playing professionally from the age of 14. He was the jazz tenor saxophone soloist of the Men of Note Orchestra. His jazz combo, Jazzberry Jam, performed at many public and private venues all over Kentucky and beyond. He is the author of two books: Issues & Images: Fifty Years as a Kentucky Architect and Jazz in Lexington: a Personal View. The Byron F. Romanowitz Archive was established by the University of Kentucky Library to preserve his collection of original documents, photos, and recordings from his long careers as both a Kentucky architect and jazz musician.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Central Kentucky Salvation Army, Lexington, Kentucky.
This article appears on pages 6-7 of the January 2023 issue of Ace. To subscribe, click here.