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James Ames Provides a New York City Legacy

James Ames was like so many of our steadfast MAS members: he came to many events, he supported our advocacy work and he renewed his membership every year. Mr. Ames was an MAS member for well over thirty years and he remained a loyal member until his death in 2008.

MAS was honored to learn recently that Mr. Ames had left a bequest to MAS: a generous, unrestricted gift of $20,000. “Everything will go to the programs he enjoyed, from advocacy efforts to public activities,” says James S.J. Liao, MAS Vice-President for Finance and Administration.

Born in the Bronx in 1926, Ames was a lifelong New Yorker who remained an active and involved resident of the city for his entire life. He worked for over four decades for the City as an engineer for the Department of Environmental Protection. He lived in Jackson Heights, within a historic district, and was active in the Catholic Church there.

Although he didn’t live along the water’s edge, he was never far from the water. He served in the Merchant Marine during the Korean War. He worked on one of the city’s water tunnels for a time. And he even cruised with MAS on its 2007 Annual Boat Tour which traversed the Kill van Kull in Staten Island. In his travels, he enjoyed numerous foreign trips, including Ireland, China and Argentina.

John Rung, his friend and executor, said, “If he paid his annual dues to MAS he must have felt he got his money’s worth.” We’d like to think so too.

For all the years that Ames was a member, MAS championed intelligent urban planning, design and preservation. In return, Mr. Ames provided us with a living legacy that will allow us to continue our work. Thank you, James Ames, for being a passionate New Yorker.