Samuel G. Crozier, Columbia landscape architect, dies

Samuel G. Crozier was a former Rouse Co. landscape architect who later founded Crozier Associates.
Samuel G. Crozier was a former Rouse Co. landscape architect who later founded Crozier Associates. (HANDOUT / HANDOUT)

Samuel G. Crozier, a former Rouse Co. architect and founder of Crozier Associates Land Planning Landscape Architects, died of heart failure Oct. 4 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Columbia. He was 78.

"Sam was a bit of a romantic — which is a good thing if you're an architect. It helps give you an imagination," said Jervis H. Dorton, a former Rouse Co. architect and consultant who was also a longtime friend.


"He was very outgoing," Mr. Dorton said. "He made friends quickly, and within 10 minutes you felt as though you had known him for years."

The son of Samuel George Crozier, owner of a landscape nursery business, and Thelma Crozier, Samuel George Crozier was born and raised in Lindenwold, N.J., and graduated in 1956 from Overbrook Regional High School.


Mr. Crozier earned a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from Ohio State University in 1961 and a master's degree in the same discipline from the University of Michigan in 1963.

He credited his father with influencing his choice of career and for his vast knowledge of plants.

Mr. Crozier went to work for the Rouse Co. in 1970 and did the land planning for the Hopewell neighborhood, which is part of Columbia's Owen Brown Village.

"We were both graduates of Ohio State, and over the years that became a common bond," said Cyril "Cy" Paumier, a former Rouse Co. landscape architect and urban planner who came to the Columbia company in 1969 as director of land planning for the emerging city.

"I hired Sam because I was impressed by the quality of the work he showed me; work that he had produced at school and at another place where he had worked. You make judgments on people's drawings," said Mr. Paumier, a Columbia resident.

"He was a very outstanding professional person who had lots of ability," he said. "He was also a deeply caring human being."

"He did the forecourt and landscaping around Harper House in Cross Keys that was designed by Frank Gehry before he became famous, and is a quite handsome building," Mr. Dorton said.

Two years after leaving the Rouse Co. in 1974, he established Crozier and Associates in Cross Keys, then moved the business to Savage Mill.

He closed the business for a time and worked for Daft McCune Walker, a Towson landscape architecture, planning and site design firm, for several years. Then in 1997 he re-established Crozier Associates Land Planning Landscape Architects on Foundry Street in Savage.

"The firm was engaged over the years by the Rouse Co. to design the exterior landscaping, interior water features and planting for several regional malls including Exton Square in Exton, Pa., Augusta Mall in Augusta, Ga., and White Marsh Mall," Mr. Dorton wrote in an email.

"He did the White Marsh Mall landscaping in 1981 and re-did the interior landscaping in 1991," wrote Mr. Dorton, also a Columbia resident.

"Sam was very unique and just an excellent and consummate designer," said David M. Hammond, a retired Silver Spring landscape architect. "He paid the highest attention to detail and was always critiquing what he saw, what he could do better.


"He was very charming and pleasant to work with, and was highly motivated to do the best work he could for his clients," he said. "He was very good at convincing people to do the right thing."

Mr. Crozier provided innovative planning and landscape design for several prominent Howard County residential developers, family members said. Other significant projects included work at Leonardtown Wharf, Wilde Lake Village Center, Howard County General Hospital's entry courtyard and Charles Plaza at Charles Center.

He received awards for his work from first ladies Pat Nixon and Rosalynn Carter, whose photos he kept on his desk, family members said

Melanie E. Mosher, a retired landscape architect who lives in Wyman Park and worked with Mr. Cozier at Daft McCune Walker, said he was "totally dedicated to good design. ... He knew good architecture when he saw it, and he was a very opinionated person."

She recalled his glowing sense of humor. "Sam was great fun when he was at his peak, and the master of the one-liner," she said.

He was a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and had been president of the organization's Maryland chapter.

At the time of his death, Mr. Crozier was semiretired.

His hobbies were visual and performing arts, modern design and music. He also enjoyed photography and sailing. He had owned two sailboats, the Pot of Gold and the Leprechaun.

In 1990, he married Janice Conklin, former dance critic for The Baltimore Sun, who died in 2011.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Turn House, 11130 Willow Bottom Drive in Columbia.

He is survived by several cousins.

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