Bill Gilchrist

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William A. Gilchrist is a former director of the Birmingham Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits, having served as the city's chief planner from 1993 to 2008.

Gilchrist earned his bachelor of science in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977. He continued there and earned a master's in architecture in 1982 as well as a second master's in management. He also has a degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Gilchrist has received the Chandler Prize for Design from the Boston Society of Architects and won a traveling fellowship from the Aga Khan Foundation to document vernacular coastal architecture in Kenya.

Gilchrist is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and chaired two national committees for design assistance. He is also a trustee of the Urban Land Institute, and a member of the board of directors for Operation New Birmingham and the advisory board for the Auburn University Center for Architecture and Urban Studies.

Gilchrist resigned in September 2008 and was succeeded by former deputy director Andre Bittas.


  • Archibald, John (October 2, 2008) "City man with the plan gone like the wind." Birmingham News