Henri-Louis Wakker (aka 'Walker') (18 March 1875 – 17 March 1972) was a Swiss banker and real estate entrepreneur. His will provided a considerable sum of money without conditions to the Swiss Heritage Society, which in 1972 created the Wakker Prize in his honor. It is awarded yearly for the development and preservation architectural heritage in Switzerland.
(The following was taken from a web page in German, and used several translators to glean information here in English. Because of the inaccuracies of online electronic translators, some of the information may be misspelled or inaccurate. Any help with updates or corrections is appreciated.)
He was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the son of a watchmaker. He attended high school there, where he learned German. In 1905, he was appointed bank director at a bank in Cairo, Egypt, but returned home in 1911. It was then that he opened a real estate office, which dealt with the purchase, sale and disposition of land and houses, as well as estate management.
In 1929, he planned with his friends Henri Honegger, the architect Maurice Bralliard, and Henri Vial a series of trendy housing developments in the Eaux-Vives neighborhood of Geneva. The economic crisis of the time, however, only allowed the construction of the smallest of four properties, the "Square de Monchoisy". In 1936, he had, with Charles Bralliard and Jean-Frédéric Rouiller, created a detailed plan for construction of a crossing of the harbor of Geneva. While it was rejected at the time, it has recently seen reconsideration. In 1955, after 80 years in the real estate trade, he retired.
Henri-Louis Wakker was an avid mountain climber and especially loved the Swiss Alps and the mountains of central Switzerland, with a special fondness for the cities and towns of this area.
He died one day before his 97th birthday, 17 March 1972. He left a considerable sum of money to the Swiss Heritage Society without any conditions. The Executive Board of the Society decided to use the money to fund the Wakker Prize, which is given annually to Swiss municipalities for excellence in cultural and architectural heritage development, and for fostering such development for the future. The prize is 20,000 Swiss Francs. In 2009, it was awarded to the Yverdon-les-Bains region. (End of translated section.)