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Harry Topping

Harry Topping

Sr. VP, corp. real estate | City Nat’l Bank of LA

To Harry Topping, there was no place like the Nathan Ricker Gallery in the original School of Architecture.

"Even as a lowly high school senior, my dad and I would stop there before going to the Illinois football games on Saturday, following my own high school games on Friday nights," says the senior VP at City National Bank of Los Angeles.

“My dad was friends with A. Richard Williams, a very distinguished architect and professor who designed of the School of Education, among many others, and we saw the most amazing drawings and models of projects that Professor Williams’ graduate students were doing. For a 17-year-old wanting to be an architect, this was pretty cool.

“Then, while pursuing my bachelor’s of architecture degree at the U of I, the gallery was where very distinguished speakers would come throughout the five years and tell inspiring stories of the latest architectural theories, and also of their personal projects. And my classmates and me would also have the honor to have our work displayed.

“I always felt that this gallery represented the most current and forward-thinking in architecture, and I was very often inspired by what I saw. This was a very special place in the years I spent becoming an architect at the university.”