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Rockefeller Foundation Honors New York Activists with 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal

Earlier this week, the Rockefeller Foundation presented the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medals to Richard Kahan, Founder and CEO of the Urban Assembly, and Damaris Reyes, Executive Director of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES). A ceremony in their honor was held at the new Thom Mayne-designed building at 41 Cooper Square.

The juried awards process is administered by the Municipal Art Society as part of MAS’s continuing collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation to celebrate the legacy of the pioneering writer and activist. The Medal is awarded to two individuals each year whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding New York City, challenges traditional assumptions and creatively uses the urban environment to make New York City a place of hope and expectation. Previous medalists have included, Omar Freilla of Greenworker Cooperatives, Alexis Torres-Fleming, founder of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Peggy Shepard of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT), and Barry Benepe of the Greenmarket program. For more information about the Jane Jacobs Medal, visit

2009 Jane Jacobs Medal Recipients Announced

The Rockfeller Foundation announced today that the recipients of the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal are Richard Kahan and Damaris Reyes. The medal, which is administered by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), was created in 2007 to honor the author and activist who died in April 2006. It is awarded annually to two New Yorkers whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding the city.

Founder and CEO of the Urban Assembly, Richard Kahan is a former President of the New York State Urban Development Corporation and former Chairman of the Battery Park City Authority. Since 1999, the Urban Assembly has created, and now manages, 22 public secondary schools located, by design, in many of the lowest income neighborhoods in New York. Mr. Kahan will receive the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership. Continue Reading>>

2009 MASterwork Awards Celebrated at Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design was the setting for the 2009 MASterwork Awards ceremony. The outstanding renovation/adaptive reuse of the Center was an exciting backdrop for honoring this year’s winners. Bob Kerry, President of the New School gave some welcoming remarks which were followed by the ceremony.  The video above captures the essence of each winner.

Each year, the Municipal Art Society honors the year’s top building projects for their excellence in architecture and urban design, and their contribution to New York’s built environment. For more information, visit

MAS Announces Eighth Annual MASterwork Award Winners

The winners of the 2009 MASterwork Awards are The Standard Hotel for Best New Building, the Times Square TKTS Booth for Best Neighborhood Catalyst, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, The New School for Design for Best Renovation/Adaptive Reuse, and The Lion House at the Bronx Zoo for Best Restoration.

Launched in 2001, the MASterwork Awards recognize excellence in architecture and urban design, and are organized annually by MAS and sponsored by Helaba, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, the international banking and investment group. The four awards presented this year are for projects completed in 2008.

“The MASterwork Awards celebrate the year’s ingenuity in architecture and design across various building types,” said Vin Cipolla, president of MAS. “Year after year, MAS is continually impressed by the way these projects influence the way all of us view and live in the city.” Continue Reading>>

Nominations Now Open for Fourth Annual Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award

yolanda garcia bronx street signThe Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award (YGCP) acknowledges the hard-working leaders of grassroots, community-based planning. The award was created to commemorate Yolanda Garcia, a community activist in the South Bronx. Under Garcia’s leadership, the residents of Melrose challenged the city, created an alternative to an urban renewal plan, and transformed a neighborhood. The organization created by Garcia, We Stay/Nos Quedamos, is bringing that community’s vision to life through planning, design, construction, and programming.

In 2007, MAS presented the second annual YGCP award to Elizabeth Yeampierre for her work with the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE), which has engaged local residents, particularly youth, in multiple community planning and environmental justice initiatives along the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn. Last year’s winner was Jeanne DuPont, Executive Director of the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. The award recognized her work engaging a diverse community and local youth in open space and environmental issues on the barrier island of Far Rockaway, Queens.
Continue Reading>>