The Woodlands, TX
Thomas Todd
1928 - 2018

Thomas Abbott Todd

Born in North Stonington, Connecticut, Todd earned a B.Arch. and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, both in 1959. After practicing as an urban planner and architect, he joined the interdisciplinary design firm Wallace-McHarg Associates to form Wallace McHarg Roberts & Todd (WMRT; later WRT—Wallace Roberts & Todd), becoming a partner in 1965. While at WMRT, Todd collaborated closely with fellow architect and planner David Wallace and landscape architects William Roberts and Ian McHarg. The latter’s seminal text, Design with Nature, established the principles of an ecologically driven approach to design, which guided the firm’s work. WMRT’s early projects included The Lower Manhattan Plan in New York; the Plan for the Valleys in Maryland, the first long-range development plan whose design relies on principles of ecological determinism; and the Inner Harbor Master Plan in Baltimore, Maryland. These projects positioned the firm at the forefront of large-scale urban design and environmental planning. In subsequent decades at WMRT, Todd contributed to the design of many more communities, cities, and regions. His other prominent works include the Amelia Island resort in Florida (1971); The Woodlands community near Houston, Texas (1970-1974), widely regarded as the most successful new town plan of its era; numerous transportation studies for cities, including Washington, D.C.; and plans for the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria (1978-1979). Todd was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1980, retiring from practice ten years later. He died in Massachusetts at the age of 90.