Visionary Alumnus Jack Esterson (B. Arch. '75) Creates Legacy at Pratt
Endowed Scholarship Will Support Future Aspiring Architects
As a child growing up in Syracuse, Jack Esterson (B. Arch. '75) dreamed of moving to New York City. "I knew I wanted to be in a place filled with creative people," he says. From the moment the Institute's School of Architecture accepted him on the spot on the basis of his extensive portfolio, Pratt has been that place.
Over the past 45 years, Esterson's long relationship with his alma mater has included being a student, faculty member, and juried design review critic-a role that continues to allow him to spend entire days at Pratt, which he describes as "magic." In addition, as lead architect for Pratt's two newest academic and administrative facilities-Myrtle Hall and the Film/Video Building-Esterson has played a pivotal role in shaping the Brooklyn campus and rejuvenating Myrtle Avenue under the leadership of Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. "I couldn't be prouder of being chosen to design two buildings for the Pratt campus," says Esterson. "It's a very, very validating experience."
Esterson chose to attend Pratt at the suggestion of his high school art teacher, who also served as a mentor to him and helped him submit work to competitions. For Esterson, the School of Architecture's pragmatic approach and connections to New York City, as well as the opportunity to learn from practicing architects, gave him the confidence and contacts to build a career. "I'm a successful architect in my dream city doing what I love. It doesn't get much better than that," he says.
Now, acknowledging the tremendous impact that Pratt continues to have on his life and the assistance he received throughout his education, Esterson has made a generous bequest to benefit students in the Institute's School of Architecture. "I want to help talented kids who couldn't otherwise afford to study architecture realize their dreams at Pratt."
Ultimately, the scholarship, the teaching, and the buildings that have been instrumental in transforming Myrtle Avenue and the Pratt campus all stem from Esterson's desire to leave the world a better place than the one he was born into. "That's what guides me as an architect because I believe that beautiful architecture improves life," he says. With the scholarship that will be created through his planned gift, Esterson is ensuring that future generations of young dreamers have the support they need to follow in his footsteps as visionary architects.