Ronald M. Binney


Ronald Morgan Binney of Edgartown, an international architect, died on September 6 at Sandwich of lung cancer complications.

He was born to Horace Henry Binney and Barbara Ferrone Binney on October 6 1948 in Hicksville, N.Y., and spent his boyhood years there, in Brooklyn, and Orlando, Florida, (summering at the Lake Averill, Vermont, family lodge). He graduated from Oak Ridge High School and earned a Bachelor of Design in Architecture degree cum laude from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in June, 1976, after honorable discharge as a sergeant in the United States Air Force in August, 1973.

Continued strong interest in art and architecture while a partner in a framing and photography shop led him to earn a Master of Architecture degree cum laude from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June, 1984, following a family tradition. His father was an alumnus, in naval architecture, as were earlier family members directly descended from Captain John Binney whose English contingent settled Hull in 1678.

Mr. Binney’s achievements were widespread, varied, and many, including an Air Force Material Command citation for planning and urban design. He was attracted to the study of ancient architecture and enjoyed historic building restoration as well as the planning and design of city block housing, shopping centers, and military installations. As a senior associate of Arrowstreet, Inc., his projects included the Architectural revitalization at the U.S. submarine base, Groton, Conn., the childhood development center at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, the eight city block development at Friendship Heights, Md., and other projects extending from Japan to the Galleria Mall in Cambridge. He is listed in Who’s Who. He maintained an office in Cambridge and added a practice on Martha’s Vineyard in 2007.

He was an athlete and outdoorsman who relished camping in snowy, 17-degree weather and leading Appalachian Mountain Club hiking groups, a skier and a saltwater and freshwater fly fisherman whose happiest memories included introducing his young son, Bryce, to a love and appreciation of the outdoors. He was a gifted artist who excelled at portrait and charcoal sketching, an accomplished photographer seldom without his Hasselblad camera and a dedicated musician. He worked at many jobs throughout his college years, manual, as a hospital attendant, and playing professional trumpet on weekends. Word has been received that Upsilon Phi Chapter (University of Florida) Phi Gamma Delta, will raise a special toast to Ron when members gather for their annual pig roast dinner in February and will sing the fraternity song he composed in 1967.

He was a member of the American Institute of Architects, Boston Society of Architects, Society of American Military Engineers, Gator Club of Boston, and a visiting critic and speaker at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Boston Society of Architects.

He married Betty Jean Brown in 1970. The marriage was dissolved in 1976.

Survivors are his son, Bryce Binney, daughter-in-law Jill, and two-year-old grandson, Logan Cooper Binney of Tampa, Fla., sisters Patricia Byrd of Casselberry, Fla. and Barbara Nieminen (husband Michael) of Tuckahoe, N.Y., brother Douglas Binney of New Orleans, La., nephews Brantley Byrd, Kurt and Nicholas Nieminen, and his companion Victoria Haeselbarth of Edgartown. Also surviving are dear friends Diane and Wesley Haeselbarth of Edgartown and Hahn the dachshund who continues to await his footsteps at the door.

He was a knight in shining armor, an epitome of uprightness, graciousness and courage to all who knew him. A memorial service for family and friends, with Reverend Roger Spinney of Hospice officiating, will be held October 1 at 2 pm at Westside Cemetery, Edgartown.