Gresham Smith -Batey M Gresham Jr

Batey Gresham Jr.

Gresham Smith co-founder Batey Gresham Jr. has died at the age of 88, the Nashville architecture firm announced Tuesday.

Gresham and Flem Smith Jr. founded the firm in 1967, counting the newly established Hospital Corporation of America as an early client. Gresham attended Auburn University and worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before establishing the firm.

"While most architects were solo practitioners in the mid-1960s, we chose an alternate path," Smith said. "We were soon bringing people into our organization who had skillsets and talents that we didn't have so we could serve a wider range of clients. Batey excelled in this search."

A private funeral service is scheduled this week. A reception for friends and family will be held in Auburn, Alabama, on Wednesday.

"Our hearts are heavy today," said Gresham Smith CEO Rodney Chester. "Our firm, our profession and our communities have lost a leader who inspired and impacted so many. His long-term influence is nearly impossible to measure, not just because he was one of our founders, but because his dedication, values and genuine love for both employees and clients truly defined our culture and what we stand for as a firm. We all owe Batey and his wife, Ann, a debt of gratitude for a lifetime of service."