Group 7 Created with Sketch.
Group 3 Copy Created with Sketch.

AIA New York and Center for Architecture Honor Four Design Leaders at Heritage Ball

October 28, 2016

NEW YORK, NY, October 28, 2016 — Heritage Ball, AIA New York (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture’s annual gala, filled Chelsea Piers’ Pier 60 with 1,100 professionals from the architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate industries. While all enjoyed the black-tie networking, the real focus of the evening was to celebrate leaders who champion design excellence in New York City. Each honoree demonstrates the leadership, vision, and proven commitment to projects that contribute to New York City’s status as a dynamic and energetic global capital. This year’s honorees were Thomas Phifer, FAIA, Founder, Thomas Phifer and Partners; The Rudin Family; Senator Charles E. Schumer; and Alice Tisch.

Heritage Ball also celebrated the Center for Architecture. Since October 7, 2003, the Center for Architecture has become a resource for architects, allied professionals, students, and the general public. As the city’s leading cultural institution focusing on architecture, the Center for Architecture seeks to educate a broad public about the importance of architecture and design, while also serving as a hub for professional development and advocacy for New York’s architects as the home of the AIA New York, the largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The Heritage Ball serves as the single largest funding source for the AIA New York and Center for Architecture and allows the organizations to carry out their missions through many initiatives and programs. In his speech, AIANY and Center for Architecture Executive Director Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, shared that the organizations will strategically focus on a few key areas, including cultivating and supporting diversity in the profession, attracting younger members and audiences, growing the Center for Architecture’s acclaimed k-12 programs, and anticipating and educating professionals about evolving technologies. Prosky concluded by thanking the audience: “Your support tonight is an investment in our future.” said Prosky.


President’s Award: Thomas Phifer, FAIA, Founder, Thomas Phifer and Partners
The 2016 President’s Award winner, Thomas Phifer is honored for pushing the boundaries in the field of architecture and for his inventive design and engaging work for museums and cultural institutions.

Phifer celebrated New York City’s architecture community by relating the story of his move as a young architect from South Carolina to New York City, and the tremendous support he received from the New York City architecture community: “The generosity of spirit and support, the way that we all help each other up, is why this award tonight from this community is so important to me. At every turn, you all have been there for me.”

Since 1997, Thomas Phifer’s New York-based firm has designed numerous museums, cultural and educational institutions including the Corning Museum of Glass, the United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City, the Rice University Brochstein Pavilion, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Ongoing projects include the Glenstone Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and TR Warszawa Theatre in Warsaw, the Cine Colombia headquarters in Bogotá, the Indiana University student center in Bloomington, and private residences in Texas, Wisconsin, and the Hudson Valley. Thomas Phifer and Partners has received more than 20 honor awards from the American Institute of Architects. He received the prestigious Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in 1996 and was awarded the Medal of Honor from the AIA New York in 2004. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and was elected as an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 2011. Thomas Phifer received his Master of Architecture degree from Clemson University in 1977. This year, Thomas Phifer will receive foundation honors from Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation and the President’s Award from the AIA New York. He will give the Royal Institute of British Architects 2016 keynote lecture in London and is the appointed Louis I. Kahn Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture in the spring 2017 semester. Thomas Phifer and Partners projects have been published extensively in the United States and overseas.

AIA New York Chapter Award: The Rudin Family
The Rudin Family receives this year’s AIA New York Chapter Award for their work pursuing the growth and renewal of NYC’s people, businesses, and communities through philanthropy and their own projects.

“We are honored to receive this award from the prestigious AIA New York Chapter,” said Eric Rudin, Vice Chairman and President of Rudin Management Company. “We have always been driven to make New York City a better place to live. It’s a value that has been engrained in our family and our company since my grandfather Samuel Rudin founded Rudin Management in 1925. We are proud to be a part of the greatest city in the world, its people and institutions. We would also like to congratulate U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Thomas Phifer, and Alice Tisch on also being honored by the AIA.”

The New York City real estate holdings run by the Rudin family dates back to 1905, when Louis Rudinsky bought his first building on East 54th Street. Today the family owns and manages 16 office properties and 18 apartment buildings in prime Manhattan locations. The firm’s portfolio is comprised of 10 million square feet of commercial space at buildings such as 3 Times Square, 345 Park Avenue and 80 Pine Street, and 20 luxury apartment buildings, including 215 East 68th Street, 211 East 70th Street and 241 Central Park West. The company’s current projects include The Greenwich Lane, a collection of 199 condominiums across five buildings and five townhomes designed by FXFOWLE. Situated at the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village, The Greenwich Lane has received the first LEED Neighborhood designation. They are also working on Dock 72, a 675,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Brooklyn co-working office designed by S9 Architecture.

Samuel’s sons, Jack and Lewis, joined the company after World War II and took over in 1975; Jack Rudin currently serves as the chairman of the company, together with his family, including Vice-Chairman and CEO William C. Rudin, Vice Chairman and President Eric Rudin, Executive Vice President Beth Rudin DeWoody, and Executive Vice President Madeleine Rudin Johnson. Vice Presidents Samantha Rudin Earls and Michael Rudin are representing the family’s fourth generation. William Rudin chairs the Association for a Better New York, the civic group his father founded during the city’s fiscal crisis in 1971. All members of the family are deeply involved with many of the great charitable institutions in New York.

Center for Architecture Award: Senator Charles E. Schumer
Senator Charles E. Schumer is the recipient of the Center for Architecture Award for his leadership and commitment to improving New York through his service in the United States Senate.

“The term skyscraper was originally a nautical term…,” noted Schumer. “It earned its current definition in the 19th Century when the architects of New York City, wanting for space, started building up instead of out. The public, amazed by the architectural feats of this great city, borrowed the term skyscraper and it stuck. And while today we’re not focused on building the tallest structure, there is still that lofty ambition to build the most modern, the most aesthetic, the most sustainable, the most livable. That ambition is the philosophy of New York’s architects, and neighborhood planners, and economic development professionals – all of you who have gathered here tonight. That ambition is what makes New York New York. So I stand here with you tonight, honored to receive this award and more confident about the future of our great city that ever before.”

Charles “Chuck” Schumer was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Sheepshead Bay where he attended PS 197 and Madison High School. After graduating from Harvard College and Harvard Law School in 1974, Chuck returned home and ran for the NY State Assembly, becoming at 23, the youngest member of the State Legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. He soon made his mark with a vigor and tireless advocacy. In 1980, at 29, he was elected to the US Congress representing Brooklyn and Queens in the 9th Congressional District where he established his reputation as a pioneer in the fight against crime and as a consumer advocate. In 1998, Chuck was elected to the U.S. Senate. Throughout his time in the Senate, he has made improving New York’s economy his top priority. He ensured delivery of over $20 billion in aid to New York City following the attacks on September 11, 2001. He has built a reputation as a leader and finds common-sense solutions to national issues and is a tireless fighter for New York. After voters re-elected him for a third term in 2010, Chuck took on an expanded role in the Senate as Chairman of the Democratic Policy Communications Center. He also sits on the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; the Judiciary Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security; and the Joint Committee on the Library.

NYC Visionary Award: Alice Tisch
The NYC Visionary Award was bestowed on Alice Tisch, recognizing her leadership in bringing architecture and architectural history to the general public through her commitment to the Museum of Modern Art.

At the Heritage Ball, Tisch encouraged architects and those working in the engineering, construction, and real estate industries to study what makes for connections between people: “Don’t forget that. Form follows function, but the function piece has a wide range. Whether it’s an office, whether it’s a cultural institution, or whether it’s a home, make it so that people can connect.”

Alice Tisch engages in a variety of volunteer activities, with a special focus on arts, health and social services, and education. She serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Museum of Modern Art where she also chairs the museum’s Acquisitions Department of Architecture & Design. She serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, New York State’s largest social service agency. She also serves as trustee of the NYU Langone Medical Center, having headed their pediatrics initiative, KiDS of NYU, for over twenty years. An alumna of Wellesley College and Columbia University Business School, Alice and her husband, Thomas, have four children. They live in New York City.


In appreciation of their significant contributions towards design excellence, AIA New York and Center for Architecture invited each award recipient to select an academic program to receive scholarships for one of its students. The following students were chosen by their respective programs:

Athena Unroe – The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union, receiving a scholarship in honor of Tom Phifer, FAIA.

Rebecca Lausen – The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, receiving a scholarship in honor of Sen. Charles Schumer.

Ashley Smith – New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, receiving a scholarship in honor of the Rudin Family,

Abena Bonna – Yale School of Architecture, receiving a scholarship in honor of Alice Tisch.


Our website has detected that you are using a browser that will prevent you from accessing certain features. An upgrade is recommended to experience. Use the links below to upgrade your exisiting browser.