Tipp City architect focused on civic involvement

Dave Cook has helped shape his hometown of Tipp City during the past half-century through involvement in local government and, with his architectural skills, some of the community’s structures.

Cook, a former city mayor whose wife Carol Sue also is a former mayor, was recognized recently with an Ohio American Institute of Architects Public Service Award.

The presentation came during the Ohio Valley Regional Convention in Indianapolis for architects from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky and during Cook’s 50th year as a registered architect.

A Tipp City native, he is a 1957 graduate of Tippecanoe High School and graduated from Sinclair College. He now is employed by Unibilt Industries in Vandalia.

Cook’s involvement in civic activities began with the local Jaycees organization and its successful efforts in the late 1960s to place a proposed charter form of government before city voters. The proposal was accepted.

He went on to serve on the local appeals board and then for a dozen years on the city council, including six years as the Tipp City mayor. He also has served 30 years on the Miami County Building Appeals Board.

“Being an architect I believe I understand why most regulations are written. I believe some people think that all you have to do is pay the application fee and anything you appeal should be granted,” Cook said. “Many applicants do not realize have zoning regulations can eventually affect their entire neighborhood.”

While Cook was on council, the city’s emergency medical services was started, the city historic and restoration district downtown formed and a green space ordinance requiring open space in residential developments or payment in lieu of the space approved. He also was on the committee that proposed a successful tax levy for the Tipp Monroe Community Services organization.

The duties of an architect and someone active in local government are similar, Cook said. “Architects need creative vision in designing buildings that could and should be useful for many years to come. That same vision, for the present and future, is necessary for the successful quality of life in our cities,” he said.

Cook offered the following advice for young people today. “Learn the basics of the government. Learn the values and traditions of the community and what has made it so great. Then, begin to think and dream about what can be done to make it better,” he said.

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