Remembering Barbara Hillier

Barbara Hillier’s memorial service was yesterday at the Princeton University Chapel. She died at age 71 on November 21, 2022. How she combined motherhood and an atypical but impressive career was explained in detail – perhaps for the first time, for most of us — in her obituary.

One of her stellar projects was the convention center in Irving, Texas. As described, “She created a vertical convention center that soared 170 feet into the Texas sky with convention rooms at different levels, all connected by amazing escalators and with expansive terraces protected from the hot Texas sun. The design minimized its land consumption, and the center had a huge visual presence from the highways to the Dallas airport. The building has won every imaginable award…”

Bob and Barbara Hillier at the opening of the Copperwood Apartments

As explained by Pam Hersh in this Tap Into Princeton column. Barbara earned her master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University without taking a required course — because it was taught by her husband.

Bob Hillier’s presence as a community activist and founder of Studio Hillier looms large in a good way, but perhaps the most visible image of his influence is the Princeton Public Library, led by an architect in his previous firm, the Hillier Group. Less obvious is the library constructed at NJIT by the Hillier Group and the Hillier family’s notable gift in 2019 to NJIT. The current firm, Studio Hillier, is embedded in the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood and recognized for its commitment to his home town.

The snapshot of Bob and Barbara Hillier was taken at the opening of the Copperwood apartments in 2014. Barbara Hillier received the first Woman of Achievement award, given in 2013 by the Women in Business Alliance at what is now the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber.

Contributions in Barbara Weinstein Hillier’s honor may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, Delaware Valley Chapter.

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