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David Fogle, influential preservationist, dies at 94

David Fogle, a University of Maryland professor who started a historic preservation program for students to work on projects around the world, including a 17th century English countryside estate built by the family that founded Maryland and its namesake university, died June 25 at a hospital in Annapolis, Md. He was 94.

The cause was a heart attack following a bout with pneumonia, his nephew David Sommers said.

An international authority on historic preservation and urban planning, Mr. Fogle founded U-Md.’s preservation program several years after joining the school’s architecture department in 1970. In exchange for room and board, students got hands-on experience saving historic properties.

“I think the most effective teaching tool for preservation is fieldwork,” Mr. Fogle told the Baltimore Sun in 2000.

The Chalfonte, a Cape May, N.J., hotel built in 1876, was one of the program’s first major projects. Beginning in 1980, U-Md. students spent multiple summers scraping paint, replacing ceilings and repairing dining room plaster, among other laborious tasks for which they earned three credits.

The Presidential Suite there now books for more than $400 a night.

In 1985, a newspaper article about Mr. Fogle’s work at The Chalfonte caught the attention of Leonard Crewe, who was then chairman of the Maryland Historical Society and a trustee of Kiplin Hall, an English estate built by the Calvert family.

Crewe asked whether Mr. Fogle’s program could help restore the dilapidated three-story, red-brick home on 800 acres in northern England.

“Kiplin is like a lovable great-aunt,” Mr. Fogle told the Baltimore Sun in 1996, after his students had been working on the property for more than a decade. “It’s sort of shabby, but it grabs you.”

Kiplin is now open six days a week for tours.

When Mr. Fogle retired from teaching in 1999, Prince Charles (now King) of England sent him a letter.

“Dear Professor Fogle,” it began, “Having heard of all the work you have done at Kiplin Hall in the United Kingdom, I am writing to express my warmest appreciation of everything you have done to provide an appropriate and viable use for this fascinating country house.”

He went on: “I am particularly encouraged to hear that students who have visited the Hall have helped to give it new life, and that these students have themselves been enriched by the experience of working with such a remarkable place.”

David Porter Fogle was born in Lexington, Ky., on May 4, 1929. His parents were professors at Georgetown College, a private Baptist liberal arts institution. His father taught romance languages, and his mother taught music. They also ran a travel service, where as a teenager David counted baggage.

He graduated in 1947 from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and received a bachelor’s degree in architecture four years later from Princeton University. Mr. Fogle then joined the Navy. He was initially stationed at the San Diego Naval Base in California, where he worked closely with the San Diego County development department on land use projects.

After his military discharge, Mr. Fogle entered the master’s program in city and regional planning at the University of California at Berkeley and graduated in 1957. He returned to Kentucky to help the state prepare master plans for its 160 towns.

He then joined the State Department and was assigned to the U.S. Agency for International Development, working on several projects in Central and South America. In Chile, he designed buildings that later survived a serious earthquake.

Mr. Fogle began teaching at U-Md. in 1970, where he also served as associate dean in the architecture school. With his students, he traveled to work on projects in Russia, Egypt, Mexico and Spain.

In retirement, he was an adviser to Annapolis city officials on preservation issues and was president of the Annapolis Preservation Trust. In 2016, the Annapolis Heritage Commission designated Mr. Fogle as a “Living Landmark” for promoting cultural heritage.

He never married and had no immediate survivors.

“Preservation tells you who you are,” he told the Sun. “It’s an identity fix. I can drive down the outskirts of Frederick or along [Washington’s] New York Avenue, and say, ‘Where am I?’ Identity has to be linked with a place, and preservation keeps those places intact, provides that identity, and makes people feel like they’re somebody.”

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