Throughout a career that spans nearly six decades, Harry achieved legendary distinction in the industry. Summed up best by colleague, Larry Gilbert: “The term “legend” is appropriate for Harry as there are few individuals in the engineering profession who do not know Harry either professionally, personally, or perhaps simply are aware of his reputation as an unequalled resource for historical information.”
Through his presentations, experience, and expertise, Harry became well known and respected in the Civil Engineering Fraternity. His infamy extends nationally with work he has done with NASSCO (through which Harry is a PACP / MACP / LACP trainer), MWEA, and other organizations. He has presented in numerous National conventions and authored / coauthored articles published in countless magazines. Harry is recognized as the go-to resource for institutional knowledge, including Detroit sewer systems, sewer rehabilitation technologies, construction materials, grouting, and Confined Space Entry protocols, among many others
The well-earned legendary status even extends to Harry’s personal archival collection of technical papers, carefully administered to a level of organized efficiency somewhere between a graduate library and a paper recycling plant. Suffice it say, however, if a person needs technical information, Harry has it, and more astoundingly, can always locate it. (Larry Gilbert) An example of this extraordinary filing style is shared by colleague, John Kosnak: “When we were working on the Hudson Building shortly after it was razed, there was a green water in the lower basement that the client called us out to check. As Harry and I were walking back to the Detroit office (at Harmony Center on Gratiot), he mentioned that Mr. Tiseo had written a paper, years earlier, about something similar. He went to his desk, sat in his chair, spun around and opened a drawer on one of a few file cabinets behind his desk, reached into a file and pulled out the report. It was obvious that he hadn’t pulled the file before we went to the site.”
Harry is a prolific collector of old books. Many of which have been used over the years to assist in the evaluation of structures built 50 to 100 years ago. Whenever asked, Harry could find the reference with a description or photograph of how things were done. His collections grew, as he always saw a need to keep things for future reference. He was usually right. In instances where owners no longer had records, Harry usually had something.
Perhaps his most renowned “superpower”, a photographic memory. Best said by colleague, Saju Sachidanandan: “Harry is like a sponge, the more you squeeze, the more you get out of him!” Through the years, engineers and contractors have called upon Harry as their “go-to” guy for his photographic memory. Not even technology could compete with the vast library he can summon of the things he has seen and done, even remembering numbers and details of projects from 20, 30 or 40 years ago.
Throughout his career, Harry worked to keep NTH on the forefront of technology. In the middle 1980’s he came up with the idea for using shotcrete with steel fiber reinforcement to reline a tunnel, a cutting- edge concept at that time. From air-packs to gas detectors to fall protection devices, Harry’s passion for technology and safety kept NTH’s underground safety protocols current and exemplary.
Harry leaves in his wake a legacy of mentorship. A passionate volunteer, Harry devoted a lifetime to the Boy Scouts of America; and did not miss an opportunity to mentor students and colleagues alike. Shared by Larry Gilbert, “Harry’s impact on his colleagues, particularly the young and aspiring ones, remains an important aspect of this man’s legend. Speaking of impacts, Harry’s traditional “slap to the back of one’s head” gently delivered (well, usually) to address an unfortunate oversight has left many of us with a lesson not easily forgotten.”
I suspect that all of us in the engineering and heavy construction field have benefitted individually from a small handful of instructors, mentors, and professional colleagues that have established an indelible mark on our own presence and our preferred way of “getting things accomplished. There exists a standard of excellence in the engineering profession that all aspire to achieve, but relatively few truly succeed. Harry Price is one of those rare mentors who indeed meets, and surpasses, that standard. Larry Gilbert
Equipped with a full arsenal of military accomplishments, hands-on field experience in many of the most difficult, inconceivably challenging environments Imaginable, and possessing a willingness to always explore new arenas, Harry has pretty much done it all, with a “charming and gentle presence as well.”
True to the legend’s status, there are no doubt many, many people who will miss Harry that never actually met him, but know him by the mark he has left.
Harry, thank you for your support/help and being our “NTH-pedia” throughout the years!
Please leave a comment below if you have a special memory, funny story or just something nice to say and we will be packaging the comments up for Harry to take with him!