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Unsung heroes of Abuja Master Plan (Abraam Krushkhov)

The success recorded in the implementation of the Abuja project has its roots from the quality of the plan guiding the process. Knowing the calibre of the personalities involved in the plan will further make us appreciate its quality.

At the time of their engagement by FCDA, the International Planning Associates (IPA) was the best planning firm, with the best qualified hands to provide the desired result. Investigation into the profiles of these world renowned professionals revealed that among all the projects they undertook, the Abuja Master Plan was conspicuous.

The IPA Project Management Board was headed by Abraam Krushkhov as director, while Walter G. Hansen and Thomas A Todd were associate project directors. The biography of Abraam Krushkhov was obtained from the Department of Archives and Special Collections, University Library California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Here, we are going to discuss Abraam Krushkhov. His biography was obtained from the Department of Archives and Special Collections, University Library California State University, Dominguez Hills.

As a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), Abraam Krushkhov (1917-1990) had over 38 years of professional experience in providing city and regional planning services to both government agencies and private firms, many of which involved preparation of plans for planning commissions, services to federal governments, state and metropolitan area planning bodies, county and city planning commissions, private land developers and citizen advisory groups.

Krushkhov received a BA in Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1950. He completed some graduate course work in Advanced Building Research where he worked and studied under László Moholy-Nagy. He served in the US Army from 1942 to 1946 where he was known as Abraam Crowe.

Mr. Krushkhov specialised in the conceptualisation and organisation of comprehensive planning programmes. This involved selection and management of professional planning teams; production of planning works in accordance with budget and schedule; conducting comprehensive work reviews on planning programmes; and presenting plans and proposals to public agencies, private firms and citizen groups.

He was known for his participation in the planning of Nigeria’s new Federal Capital City, Abuja (1976-1979). Mr. Krushkhov’s planning enterprises are evident in many regions throughout the United States. He started his planning career in Chicago (1948-1951), where he helped produce the master plan for Oak Ridge, Tennessee; helped produce master plan for Robbins, Illinois; and prepared site plans for the Chicago Housing Authority. When he relocated to California in 1952, Mr. Krushkhov served as the Assistant Director of Planning for Santa Clara County Planning Department (1952-1956); Principal Planner for the Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Area, California (1957-1958); directed general plan programmes for Anchorage, Alaska; Lake Tahoe Regional Planning; Monterey Peninsula Area Planning; Foster City new town plan in California; Santa Cruz County, California, new town plan; Ventura County, California, general plan; San Anselmo, California, business district plan; and Cache Creek-Clear Lake water benefit study (California, 1958-1962).

From 1962 to 1967, Mr. Krushkhov became a co-equal partner of the planning consulting firm, Ruth + Krushkhov, based in Berkeley, California. From there he directed the Santa Ana, California, metropolitan area plan; Treasure Island master plan (California); City of Santa Paula, California, general plan; City of Hermosa Beach, California, general plan; and Foster City, California, neighborhood plan. In addition, he participated in the California State development plan and the San Francisco Downtown rezoning study. He later became the vice president and director of planning for DMJM in Los Angeles (1967-1971).

Krushkhov directed preparation for the Minnesota Experimental City plan; environmental impacts of highways for the National Highway Research Board; preservation of Comstock Lode (Virginia City, Nevada); Del Norte County, California, general plan; Yuma County, Arizona, general plan; Colorado River Indian Reservation general plan; Rio Salado, Arizona, Project study design; Marincello, California, new town plan; Pleasure Island, Port Arthur, Texas, development plan; Waco, Texas, Housing Authority relocation study; South Central Los Angeles Industrial study; Santa Barbara, Eureka, and Glendale freeway studies; Redwood Shores Design Review Board; Kingsmill at Williamsburg General Plan; urban renewal plans for National City, Tulare, Oxnard and Inglewood (all in California); Santa Maria, California, airport plan; San Diego County courthouse study; Laguna Beach, California, general plan; San Francisco Naval Station development plan; and Oak Park, Ventura County, development plan.

As vice president of planning at Archisystems (1972-1979), Mr. Krushkhov directed the preparation of large-scale land development plans for Howard Hughes’ properties in California, Nevada, and Arizona. He also prepared development proposals for Santa Barbara, Crenshaw and Watts area, and South Central Los Angeles.

Mr. Krushkhov held various teaching posts throughout his career, including in the US Army Engineer School in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia; University of California Berkeley Extension; and California State University Dominguez Hills.

 

From 1976-1979, in addition to his duties at Archisystems, Mr. Krushkhov also served as project director for International Planning Associates (IPA) in Los Angeles, where he authored and prepared the proposals that won a world-wide competition to serve as consultants to Nigeria’s Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in the planning of Abuja. As a result, he travelled extensively to Africa, Europe, Asia and South America to study urban and regional planning projects.

 

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