In Memoriam: Fred Schwartz

It is with heavy hearts that we say farewell to our friend, teacher, and colleague Fred Schwartz, FAIA. Fred passed away on 04.28.14 after a long struggle with cancer. Fred was well known for his Staten Island Ferry Terminal, his 9/11 Memorial, and his loyalty to former employers Denise Scott Brown, RIBA, Int. FRIBA, and Robert Venturi, FAIA, Int. FRIBA. He played an essential role in changing the guidelines for the AIA Gold Medal, allowing it to recognize collaborative teams as well as individuals. Below are words of remembrance from those who were touched by Fred’s passion, empathy, and talent. Continue reading “In Memoriam: Fred Schwartz”

In Memoriam: Sarelle Weisberg, FAIA

Many friends were startled to learn that Sarelle Weisberg, FAIA, passed away on 03.29.14. Her levels of energy and enthusiasm, and her very positive outlook on life and its possibilities, were legendary to all who knew her.

I met her in 1960, when we both entered architecture school at Columbia, in the evening program (which no longer exists). Sarelle was taking care of her family, husband Daniel and sons Andrew and Joel, of elementary school age. But that was not enough of a challenge for her.

She became a very stimulating classmate, encouraging others as well as persevering enthusiastically and thoughtfully in her own design work. She produced some excellent projects, and won a William Kinne Fellowship in 1965. Sarelle graduated in 1966 with a B.Arch. degree, which was later converted to an M.Arch. degree when Columbia reorganized its curriculum. Continue reading “In Memoriam: Sarelle Weisberg, FAIA”

A Visit to New Amsterdam

It was perfect walking tour weather as a group of 20 traced the outlines of New York City’s early days as New Amsterdam in the area below Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. The first of the Center for Architecture Foundation’s Reading the Streetscape walking tours this spring, the New Amsterdam tour on 04.12.14 kicked off a series of three walks chronicling how the grew, from its early days as a Dutch company town to today’s modern metropolis.

The tour, led by CFAF Design Educator and architectural historian Jane Cowan, began at Bowling Green, the small park at the foot of Broadway, which dates back to the 1600s when the Dutch West India Company ran New Amsterdam as a trading post specializing in beaver skins to ship to Europe. The park was used at that time for ninepins bowling games, hence the name, and the fence that stands there today pre-dates the Revolutionary War, when the tops of its finials were chopped off to melt down for ammunition. Continue reading “A Visit to New Amsterdam”

Names in the News

The winners of the AIANYS Excelsior Awards for design excellence in publicly funded buildings include the East 180th Street Subway Station and Hampton Library by Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects; The Corbin Building by Page Ayres Cowley Architects; TWA Flight Center by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; the Arbor Hill Albany Public Library by Kevin Hom Architect; FDNY Marine Company 9 by Sage and Coombe Architects; New Settlement Community Campus by Edelman Sultan Knox Wood and Dattner Architects; and the Myrtle-Wyckoff Station Complex by Dattner Architects. The Henry Hobson Richardson Award was conferred on the Institute for Public Architecture founder Jonathan Kirschenfeld, AIA; and I. Donald Weston, FAIA, was honored with the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award…The Architectural League of New York awarded the 2014 President’s Medal, recognizing extraordinary excellence and innovation in architecture and the arts to artist Richard Serra…The winners of the Architectural League of New York’s 2014 Prize for Young Architects + Designers are Brooklyn-based Kutan Ayata and Michael Young of Young & Ayata and Thomas Kelley and Carrie Norman of Norman Kelley, along with Claus Benjamin Freyinger and Andrew Holder of The LADG, Ada Fure of SIFT Studio, Jenny E. Sabin of Jenny Sabin Studio, and Geoffrey von Oeyen of Geoffrey von Oeyen Design…The Society for Marketing Professional Services – New York will honor Stantec, HLB, WB Engineers+Consultants, SBLM, SOM, Perkins+Will, and Mircrodesk at this year’s Marketing Communications Awards on 06.05.14…Robert A.M. Stern Architects has announced Anna Antropova, a Master’s candidate at the McGill University School of Architecture, as the winner of the 2014 RAMSA Travel Fellowship…The winner of the third annual Architectural Record “Good Design is Good Business” Lifetime Achievement Architecture Award is STUDIOS ArchitectureContinue reading “Names in the News”

New Deadlines

2014 OCULUS Editorial Calendar
The Oculus 2014 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA:

Winter 2014
Emerging Skyline / Evolving Street
Submit story ideas by July 14, 2014 Continue reading “New Deadlines”

On View: At the Center for Architecture + About Town

On View

Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge
Through 05.26.14

2014 Design Awards
Through 06.17.14

Polis: 7 Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space [2000-2012]
Through 06.21.14


Opening 05.09.14

The Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture
Opening 05.09.14
Reception 05.13.14

Open to the Public: Civic Space Now
Opening 06.12.14 Continue reading “On View: At the Center for Architecture + About Town”

Editor’s Note

We have a number of exciting events coming up at the Center for Architecture. On 04.23.14, we will be celebrating design excellence at the 2014 Honors and Awards Luncheon in Cipriani Wall Street. Don’t miss your chance to hear a keynote address from Hon. Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY, and to celebrate the AIA New York Design Awards and our honorees: Susan S. Szenasy, Hon. AIANY, David Burney, FAIA, Denise Scott Brown, RIBA, Int. FRIBA, and Robert Venturi, FAIA, Int. FRIBA. If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, please contact Nicole Pesce, Interim Development Manager at

The “2014 Design Awards” exhibition will be opening the day after the Luncheon, on 04.24.14. The 35 winning projects will be on view at the Center for Architecture through 06.17.14.

We are also excited to announce the launch of “Barcelona-New York City Urban Bridge 2014 (BCN-NYC): A Year of Catalan Architecture in New York.” Throughout 2014, three major New York institutions – the AIA New York Chapter | Center for Architecture, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College – will be hosting exhibitions and programs that will celebrate Catalan architecture in New York City. Please visit to find out more and see a full list of events.

Journey to Medellín: WUF7

Conversations with Dr. Joan Clos, the executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), started and ended my visit to Medellín. I was presenting at the World Urban Forum 7 (WUF) with the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU), an emerging non-governmental organization (NGO) that was formalized in 2008. CSU is co-chaired by James McCullar, FAIA, past AIANY president, and Aliye Celik; other board members include Margaret Castillo, FAIA, past AIANY president, and myself. The CSU partners with and is sponsored by the AIANY, NJIT, and CCNY/CUNY, among others. Detailed information can be found on its website at, and information on the UN Habitat World Urban Forum can be found at

”With sessions held every two years, the World Urban Forum examines rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, and policies. This year’s session of the Forum, with the theme ‘Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life,’ drew more than 22,000 participants from more than 140 countries representing governments, UN agencies, NGOs, urban professionals, local authorities, and academics. The WUF, convened by UN-Habitat, is a non-legislative technical forum.” So starts the UN Summary of the WUF7 event. In large part, the activities were in service of formulating the agenda for HABITAT III, to be held in 2016, when the previous agenda from the last Habitat meeting in Istanbul 20 years ago will be assessed, and new goals will be set for our common global future. Continue reading “Journey to Medellín: WUF7”