Words by Paige Townley
Keith Summerour is known for his sought-after architectural style. Whether it be high-end residential properties, luxury resorts, or commercial projects, he has a way of juxtaposing classical elements with modern features and amenities that result in spectacular—and often award-winning—spaces. Here are five things you didn’t know about this renowned master of style.
1: He grew up in rural Alabama.
While Keith has spent the last few decades traveling the globe—and his firm, Summerour Architects, is based in Atlanta, Georgia—he’s actually from small town Alabama. Jacksonville, to be exact. He spent much of his childhood outside, often on the property of his grandfather’s dairy farm in Perry County. “I would spend part of my summers there at his farmhouse as a kid, and there would be miles between each farmhouse,” Keith shares. “We would play in the dirt, use the hay bails to build forts, and do all of the typical kid things you think about.”
2: He didn’t start out in architecture.
While Keith certainly found his calling in architecture while at Auburn University, it’s not what he originally intended. He actually went to Auburn to be a part of its track team. Though it didn’t take long for him to realize track and field wasn’t his thing. “I just wasn’t very good, and my dad suggested I try architecture because I liked to draw,” Keith says. “I immediately loved it.”
3: He started his own firm after just a few years in the industry.
After graduating from Auburn University in 1987, he worked at a large architecture firm in Atlanta for four years before branching out on his own. “I wanted to start my own business as soon as I possibly could,” explains Keith. He started out with a location in Atlanta, which is still the main location today, but eventually added offices in Sea Island, Georgia; Cashiers, North Carolina; and even one in Italy.
4: He served on the Board of the Florence Academy of Art.
Keith long served as a board member of the Florence Academy of Art, a nonprofit organization striving to revive 19thcentury classic realism methods with drawing, painting, and sculpting. “It has been a great opportunity to give back to the creative community,” Keith says. Through his work with the Academy, Keith has shared his knowledge and expertise with many, and even assisted in discovering incredibly talented artists.
5: He has his own farm.
Keith spends much of his time traveling the globe—and of course time at the firm’s Atlanta office—but whenever possible, he’s enjoying time at his farm, Towerhouse Farm. This rural retreat just south of Atlanta is where Keith enjoys the wide open spaces he grew up with and connects with nature—raising sheep, keeping chickens and bees, and even growing his own vegetables. A highlight of the property is the Tower, a 20-foot-by-20-foot structure that’s 70 feet tall, offers five floors, and provides an incredible view of the property’s many acres of land.