David Ellison AR’83

Running for: Council

Campaign Statement

I would normally not seek election to the CUAA Council, but I agreed to run when asked if I was willing to serve.  Despite the profound generosity expressed in the creation of Cooper Union by the Cooper and Hewitt families and the relatively unconditional nature of the concept of a free school, I’ve always felt some obligation to our Alma Mater.  In this case to help in what way I can to see that Peter Cooper’s vision of a free and useful education is fulfilled.  To the extent that service on the Alumni Council can contribute to that end, I will serve on the Council if elected.


Graduating from the architecture school in 1983, David received certification from the NIASE as a Master Automobile Technician and was licensed by the State of Colorado as an emissions inspector.  Upon moving to Ohio, he became registered to practice architecture and admitted to the American Institute of Architects. 

In the 1990’s, he helped build local, state and national Green Party political organizations, becoming first convener of the National Committee of the GPUSA in the mid 1990’s while working to impede and ultimately stop the siting of an ill-conceived, multi-state, low-level radioactive waste dump in Ohio.  He represented the GPUSA at the East/West European Green Party coordination meeting in Kiev on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the catastrophe at Chernobyl.

Since entering private practice in 1998, he has been recognized for sensitivity toward historic buildings and infill construction within historic districts.  He was a founder and board president of the Ohio and Lake Erie regional chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. He is currently involved in organizing the Council of Cleveland Neighborhoods, a city-wide, deliberative body that seeks to represent resident interests in the face of development pressures.  He believes that his role as an architect is to provide suitable and appropriate backgrounds in front of which people can conduct their lives and to create places where we want to be.

David lives in Cleveland with his two whippet puppies, Hektor and Paris, his sister, Carter, and her collie, Bruce.