Awards and Prizes

Brendan Gill Prize

Group photo in formal wear: Brendan Gill, William Paley, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Philip Johnson

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. About the photo: Brendan Gill (left) with William Paley, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Philip Johnson.

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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal

Mrs. Kennedy Onassis with former MAS President Kent Barwick and others at the Villard Houses

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. About the photo: Mrs. Kennedy Onassis, former MAS President Kent Barwick (right of Mrs. Kennedy Onassis), and others at the Villard Houses. Credit: Rhoda Galyn.

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Jane Jacobs Medal

Jane Jacobs, chair of the Commission to Save the West Village at Lions Head Restaurant at Hudson and Charles Streets. Credit: Phil Stanziola.

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. About the photo: Jane Jacobs, chair of the Commission to Save the West Village at Lions Head Restaurant at Hudson and Charles Streets. Credit: Phil Stanziola.

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MASterworks Awards

Advertisement for the Masterworks Awards featuring the Spring Street Salt Shed, winner of a MASterworks Award in 2016

The MASterworks Awards are given each year to recognize projects completed in the previous year that exemplify excellence in architecture and urban design. The award was created in 1988 and has paid tribute to some of the city’s most iconic buildings and under-the-radar local gems. Past honorees include the Fulton Center, McCarren Pool, TKTS Booth, the High Bridge, the New York Times building, and the Museum at Eldridge Street. About the photo: The Spring Street Salt Shed, winner of a MASterworks Award in 2016.

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Wangari Maathai Award

Professor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai holds a small tree. Credit: Green Belt Movement.

The Maathai Award for Civic Participation in Sustainability is an annual $10,000 cash award granted to two New York City public high school seniors. The award was established in honor of Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004), a visionary environmentalist, and founder of the Green Belt Movement, a tree-planting campaign to promote sustainable development, woman’s empowerment, and democracy in Kenya. About the photo: Professor Maathai holds one of the 51 million trees her organization has planted. Credit: Green Belt Movement.

Learn more about the Wangari Maathai Award