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MAS to Award 23rd Brendan Gill Prize to Brooklyn Bridge Park Landscape Architect

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh will receive this year’s Brendan Gill Prize for his visionary design of Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. The park, where MAS held last year’s Annual Meeting, opened in March 2010 and has already become a vital urban amenity, providing space for a wide variety of activities and programming for all members of the community. Van Valkenburgh led the reclaiming of the former shipping piers under the Brooklyn Bridge, transforming the once desolate waterfront into a regional park.

The Brendan Gill Prize, dedicated to the renowned New Yorker theater critic and former MAS president, was established in 1986 by MAS board members Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Helen S. Tucker and Margot Wellington. The cash prize is funded by a permanent endowment and is awarded annually to a work of art or design produced in the previous year which best embodies the spirit of New York City and Brendan Gill. Past prize recipients include musician Sufjan Stevens, artists Mike and Doug Starn, actress Sarah Jones, and artists Jeanne-Claude and Christo.

“We are so pleased to award the 23rd Brendan Gill Prize to Michael Van Valkenburgh,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “Michael’s dynamic design for Brooklyn Bridge Park has succeeded in reconnecting thousands of city dwellers and visitors to the majesty of New York’s harbor. His careful attention to the site’s rich history and its extraordinary built and natural features has ensured that this transformation will create an urban destination for generations to come.”

Van Valkenburgh will receive the Gill Prize at a private ceremony later this month hosted by MAS at The Park Avenue Armory.