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2014 March 17: Jack Train

Jack Durkee Train, a founding principal of Valerio Dewalt Train Associates and architect of Osco Drug's 1818 Swift Drive corporate office in Oak Brook, IL, passed away on March 17, 2014, at his home in Barrington, Illinois.

Jack lived for 91 years, dedicating much of his life to the architectural profession. He studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating with a degree in architectural and structural engineering. He spent the first 20 years of his professional career with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where as an associate partner he was responsible for the firm’s technical performance. During this time, Jack served as project manager on the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, which was awarded an AIA National Twenty-Five Year Award, and the Inland Steel Building in Chicago, recipient of the AIA Chicago Chapter’s Twenty-Five Year Award.

From 1966 to 1976, Jack was a principal of Metz, Train, Olson & Youngren and in 1976 the firm became Metz, Train & Youngren. In 1982, he founded Jack Train Associates, which offered a range of architectural services to a number of prominent clients, including Abbott Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, Osco Drug, Prudential Life Insurance, United Airlines, and the University of Chicago. The firm’s goal was to provide unique design solutions while maintaining a faultless record of delivering results on time and on budget.

In 1993, after Jack had been working for years with Mark Dewalt, Jack Train Associates became Dewalt Train Associates. Shortly after, Jack Train and Mark Dewalt teamed with Joseph Valerio, founding Valerio Dewalt Train Associates in 1994. Jack served as the firm’s president until retiring in 1998; he was named principal emeritus. His leadership and time with the firm is recognized as being pivotal in VDTA’s success in distinguishing itself for technical and design excellence. Today the firm celebrates 20 years of business and has been honored with five AIA National Honor Awards, several AIA Chicago and AIA Illinois Honor Awards, and numerous other awards and publication features.

Throughout his career, Jack Train provided leadership to the American Institute of Architects at the local, state, and national level. He served as the AIA Chicago Chapter president from 1962 to 1964, after serving terms as first and second vice president and as chairman of several local committees. He was the first president of AIA Illinois (then known as the Illinois AIA Council) and later its chairman. At the national level, he was chairman of several task forces and committees, including a national task force to study standards of ethical practice and a task force to rewrite and computerize AIA’s cost accounting system. In 1974, he was the recipient of the coveted Edward C. Kemper Award, given each year by the AIA to an architect for outstanding service to the profession. Jack was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and authored the book The Unsung Essentials of Architecture, which focuses on the business of architecture.

Jack was born in southern Illinois to the late Cyril and Yuba Train on April 8, 1922. He served from 1944 through 1946 as an officer in the Navy, stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. He was grateful for his experiences in Boy Scouts, first as an Eagle Scout and later as a scoutmaster. Jack was an avid golfer, tennis player, and swimmer and remained active in the Presbyterian Church of Barrington, where he was a founding charter member. He was a long-time member of the Barrington Hills Country Club, a Rotarian, and a participant on various boards and committees for the township of Barrington and Barrington Hills.

Jack is survived by family who loved him deeply: his wife of almost 70 years, Virginia; his children, Jack, Barbara, and Pamela; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

The memorial service will take place at 2pm, Saturday, April 12, at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington, 6 Brinker Road, in Barrington Hills, Illinois. Please omit flowers. For more information, please contact Davenport Family Funeral Home, 847-381-3411,

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