Awards + Medals

Celebrating the art, architecture, and activism that deepens our understanding of the city and enriches the lives of New Yorkers.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) Medal is awarded annually to individuals and organizations that have made an extraordinary impact on the quality of New York’s built environment. The award was established in 1994 to honor Mrs. Kennedy Onassis and her passionate efforts to preserve great architecture in New York City.

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2020 Honorees

Lisa & Dick Cashin

Alexandra & Philip Howard

Related Event
2020 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal Gala

The situation with COVID-19 has evolved rapidly. After much discussion with our honorees, we have decided to cancel this year’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal Gala scheduled for Monday, April 27.

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The Brendan Gill Prize is given each year to the creator of a specific work—a book, essay, musical composition, play, painting, sculpture, architectural design, film, or choreographic piece—that best captures the spirit and energy of New York City.

The prize was established in 1987 in honor of Brendan Gill by friend and fellow MAS board member Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis along with board members Helen Tucker and Margot Wellington.

The winner of the 2020 Brendan Gill Prize is composer Julia Wolfe for her magnificent oratorio, Fire in my mouth, a hauntingly beautiful retelling of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Regretfully, our annual awards reception, Celebrating the City, has been postponed in response to concerns about coronavirus. We hope to announce a new date soon.

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2020 Honoree

Julia Wolfe, Fire in my mouth

Selected each year by our esteemed jury, the MASterworks Awards pay tribute to projects that make a significant contribution to New York City’s built environment. From some of the city’s most iconic buildings to inconspicuous local gems, our list of past winners includes the likes of Domino Park, New Lab, the Fulton Center, McCarren Pool, TKTS Booth, the High Bridge, and the Museum at Eldridge Street. Awards are presented in the following categories:

  • Best New Building for outstanding architectural design
  • Best Urban Landscape for a new or revitalized open space that contributes to livability and resilience
  • Best Restoration for a project that expertly enhances the original qualities of a significant historic building or structure
  • Best Adaptive Reuse for a project that demonstrates exceptional creativity in adaptive reuse of an existing building or structure
  • Best New Urban Amenity for an addition to the built environment that contributes to a more livable city
  • Best New Infrastructure for distinctive design in public service projects

The winners of the 2020 MASterworks Awards are announced below. The MASterworks awards will be presented as a virtual series, celebrating design excellence in New York City. This year’s virtual programming will share MASterworks projects past and present, featuring conversations with this year’s winners, moderated by winners of years past. RSVP to the events below:

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2020 Honorees

Madison Square Boys & Girls Club Pinkerton Clubhouse – Best New Building

The Fire Watchtower at Marcus Garvey Park – Best Restoration

TWA Hotel – Best Adaptive Reuse

Essex Market / The Market Line – Best New Urban Amenity

El Barrio Bait Station – Best New Infrastructure

The Reconstruction of Roberto Clemente State Park – Best Urban Landscape

The Jane Jacobs Medal is awarded annually to individuals 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. The Rockefeller Foundation awards the medal. It is administered by MAS through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The award was created in 2007.

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Recent Honorees

2016

Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Mr. PK Das, a Mumbai-based architect and activist

2013

Bette Midler, Entertainer and Founder, New York Restoration Project

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