November 20, 2017
Dear College of Architecture and Planning Community,
I am deeply saddened to inform you of the death last night of John M. Prosser, 84, Professor Emeritus of Architecture in the College of Architecture and Planning.
John retired in 2008 after 44 years of service to the University of Colorado where he taught students from first-year undergraduate through master’s level in Denver and Boulder. He was the first director of the Environmental Design program (1969-72), director of the Master of Urban Design program (1973-85), assistant dean (1973-80), interim dean (1981-84), and dean (1984). John was also a visiting or guest professor at Colorado College, University of New Mexico, Carnegie Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, Oxford Brooks, and the National University of Ireland Dublin. In addition, John represented CAP on the University of Colorado Design Review Board for 20 years.
As an urban design consultant, John worked on projects including the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Auraria Higher Education Center, DIA, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Tech Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Greenwood Village TOD. In 1969, the University of Colorado Denver hired John to generate an alternative plan for the Auraria Higher Education Center. His plan proposed saving historic elements of the Auraria neighborhood, many of which were preserved in the final plan and give Auraria much of its character today: Ninth Street, Tivoli Brewery, St. Cajetan’s Church, and what is now the Emmanuel Gallery.
In recent years, John was involved with the I-70 Opposition Team and was one of the first to call for a re-route of I-70 onto the existing I-270 and I-76, making him the subject of a Westword article in 2014. Most recently, he has been working on regenerating the Globeville Neighborhood and enhancing Garden Place Academy.
John received a BS in Architecture from the University of Kansas and a Master of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University. He also served as a Strategic Air Command Pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
The AIA Colorado History Committee chose John for its series of oral history videos on individuals who have made a significant impact on the organization. View John Prosser's oral history
With fondest memories of our dear friend and colleague,
Nan Ellin, PhD
Dean and Professor
College of Architecture and Planning
Pictured above: John Prosser, third from right, with family members at a reception for the premiere of his oral history video at CAP on September 22, 2016.