November 27, 1930 – October 11, 2017
It is with profound sadness that the partners of LM Architectural Group and Environmental Space Planning announce the passing of Mel P. Michener, FRAIC on October 11, 2017 after a long illness. Mel founded the firm of Libling Michener & Associates with Gerry Libling in 1954, producing important early work such as Executive House, Grosvenor House, St. Paul’s College and the Manitoba Teachers Society that each garnered Massey Awards and cemented the firm’s reputation for producing works of great substance, clarity and beauty. As important as the work was, Mel’s greatest contribution to the firm and to the profession was his devotion to his clients who trusted his judgement and who continued to return to the firm again and again with new commissions. He established a culture that continues to this day of a responsible practice, doing serious work that addresses the broader needs of society.
After 42 years at the helm, Mel retired as a principal in 1996, but continued for more than a decade to be a vital and productive member of the firm, as both a trusted advisor to the new partners and as a mentor to younger architects and interior designers within the practice. His love of the profession and his enthusiasm for great design was infectious and he inspired several generations of architects and interior designers; nurturing and encouraging their talent and pushing them to always strive for the best that they were capable of producing. He was demanding in his expectations and generous with his praise.
We will continue his legacy, inspired by his love and devotion to a profession that clearly gave him both great joy and meaning to his life. He often told us how proud he was that the firm that he started, continued to be successful and to do important work. To his last days, he talked about his life as an architect and what it meant to him. The buildings were important, but it was the personal relationships that he had throughout his career that in the end, were what he cherished most.
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