“. . . anyone who has a passion for design should also have a passion for humanity”

-Earl Swensson

Earl Swensson, the man behind his namesake architecture firm Earl Swensson Associates Inc. (ESa), died Thursday of natural causes at the age of 91.

Swensson founded ESa in 1961, growing it to the city’s largest architecture firm.

A Nashville native, Swensson left Music City to attend Virginia Tech and The University of Illinois. He returned to Nashville in 1960 after a stint at Chicago firm Perkins & Will.

ESa is behind several iconic Nashville projects, including Opryland Hotel, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the iconic two-spired AT&T tower. The company began designing health care facilities in the late 1960s. According to Earl, “Architecture is moving into a wellness profession. We can improve people’s lives in fundamental ways. We can stimulate them, comfort them, respect them, support them and heal them.”