December 4, 2007
by: Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

In this issue:
·AIANY Policy Update: Zoning
·NYS Boards for Architecture & Landscape Architecture Seek Members
·New Practices New York Goes West and Beyond
·NCARB Releases Practice Analysis
·Municipal Art Society Supports New Moynihan Station
·Passing: Martin Raab, FAIA
·Passing: Richard Snibbe, FAIA

AIANY Policy Update: Zoning
By Laura Manville, AIANY Policy Coordinator

Since the city’s current zoning text was written in 1961, NYC has changed dramatically. Most of the prime parcels of land have been developed — particularly outside of Manhattan — leaving small, irregular infill sites within a largely built-up urban area. The AIA, after many hours of drafting and collaboration with the Architect’s Council, the American Planning Association, and others, recently spearheaded a formal proposal to the NYC Department of City Planning to make six changes to the Zoning Resolution. The proposal was certified, and is currently under review by the Borough Presidents and Community Boards. AIANY believes these changes would increase design flexibility in the much-in-demand housing sector.

To view the list of proposed changes and see images and examples, go to the AIANY Planning & Urban Design Committee website. If you can help spread the word to your local community board or city council representative, contact Laura Manville, AIANY policy coordinator.

NYS Boards for Architecture & Landscape Architecture Seek Members
The New York State Board for Architecture and the New York State Board for Landscape Architecture are inviting applications for board membership to fill three vacancies for professional members for architecture and one professional member for landscape architecture. Board members are responsible for community outreach, conducting disciplinary proceedings, and considering and advising the department and the regents on other matters of professional licensing, practice, and conduct. Members receive an honorarium of $100 per day for their service and are reimbursed for approved expenses incurred in the course of their public duties. Members are appointed by the Board of Regents. Nominations of and applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds and individuals with disabilities are encouraged. For an application, contact the board office at 518-474-3817, ext. 110 or e-mail or

New Practices New York Goes West and Beyond
As a result of the success of New Practices New York, similar committees are sprouting up across the nation. Mark Strauss, FAIA, AICP, AIANY Immediate Past President and spearhead of the committee, was invited to present the AIANY New Practices Roundtable and Showcase, events that initiated the committee, to AIA Pasadena & Foothill (AIAPF). As the first recipient of the annual AIA NY State Fellowship Award for Mentorship in the Profession, Strauss helped establish the committee, featuring NYC-based firms within 10 years of being founded.

Having experienced starting and running an architectural firm, which later merged with FXFowle Architects, Strauss discussed the trials and tribulations of starting a practice in NYC and the efforts of the Chapter in association with The Architect’s Newspaper to launch a series of programs to nurture young practices. The program included a presentation on the New Practices program and how local chapters can do more to mentor young practices. A synopsis of the presentation can be found on the AIAPF website.

New Practices New York is also making an impact internationally. The Architecture Foundation, the UK’s independent architecture center, will feature New Practices New York winners as part of its annual lecture series. For more information, visit The Architecture Foundation website.

NCARB Releases Practice Analysis
The 2007 Practice Analysis of Architecture is now available to download from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ (NCARB) website. The 2007 survey and analysis represent the greatest outreach and response from architects ever received, with 9,835 architects from the U.S. and Canada participating. The purpose of the study was to identify the tasks and knowledge/skills that are important for recently licensed architects practicing independently, to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Results will be used to shape the foundation of an architect’s entry into the profession: the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), and, for the first time, the Intern Development Program (IDP). To read the 2007 Practice Analysis of Architecture, click the link.

Municipal Art Society Supports New Moynihan Station
The Municipal Art Society (MAS) called for greater public oversight and a transparent public review process for the development of the new Moynihan Station following the release of a “scoping document” on the project by the Empire State Development Corp. MAS strongly supports the concept of the project, including the relocation of Madison Square Garden into the rear of the Farley building under the condition that the character of the historic Farley Post Office is protected while ensuring that the new station is an efficient transportation portal.

MAS also released results from a recent poll that demonstrated mass transit riders favor a Penn Station redevelopment that enhances access to accommodate increased traffic, that the public wants a voice in the redevelopment, and that they feel they are not fully informed about current plans for the Farley Post Office building. Poll respondents felt that Penn Station should be expanded and that the current Penn Station must be improved aesthetically, architecturally, and functionally. More than 66% of all respondents would rather travel through a train station that looks like Grand Central Terminal than Penn Station. Click here for more information.

Passing: Martin Raab, FAIA

Martin D. Raab, FAIA, died Wednesday, November 14 at age 75. Mr. Raab received his architectural degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then joined what is now called HLW International, eventually becoming chief operating officer of HLW’s Services Corporation Design/Build Division. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appointed Raab to be president and CEO of the 800-person School Construction Authority, where he remodeled the agency for design/build. In 2003, he joined Richard Meier & Partners, Architects as its COO. Additionally, Raab was the volunteer village architect and chairman of the Planning Commission for Great Neck Estates, where his family resided for 26 years.

Extensively involved with the AIA, Raab served as president of the AIANY Chapter in 1989. Prior to that, he represented the AIA in discussions with NYC to write both Public Law No. 5 on fire protection and Public Law No. 10 on exterior wall safety inspections, limiting architects’ liability under both these laws. He also led the AIA’s 10-year-long struggle on fee schedules and contract standards for public work, which ultimately reversed unfavorable procedures. Raab was also one of the founding members of national AIA Large Firm Round Table (1984-89), chair of the AIA Benefit Insurance Trust responsible for the purchase and administration of health and life insurance for AIA’s then 55,000 members, and director of various activities at the New York Building Congress.

A memorial service is planned for January 4, 2008, at the Union League Club in NYC. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, flagging it for the “Raab Family Educational Fund,” which will benefit architectural students and NYC public schools. Donations should be mailed to Raab Associates, Ltd., 12 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210.

The New York Times obituary can be viewed here.

Passing: Richard Snibbe, FAIA
Richard Snibbe, FAIA, died on October 28 in San Francisco. Snibbe attended Saint John’s University as an undergraduate and went on to study architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design under the direction of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus. Early in his career, Richard worked at the architectural firm of Edward Stone. Later, he helped established Ballard, Todd and Snibbe, and produced numerous buildings in public housing, healthcare, and education, including Princeton University’s tennis pavilion and graduate dorms.

After the demise of his partnership, Snibbe became a champion of classic, socially oriented modern architecture and founded CIMA — the Congress of International Modern Architects with other notable modern international architects including John Johansen, Harry Seidler, and James Polshek. Additionally, he established a trust to restore lampposts and other parts of Gramercy Park where he lived for 40 years. He also established “Architects for Clinton” in 1991 to aid in Clinton’s successful Democratic campaign for president.

Snibbe was the author of three books, Small Commercial Buildings (1956), The New Modernist In World Architecture (1999), and an unpublished autobiography completed in 1987 which is available for download on a growing online memorial webpage.

A family memorial was held in San Francisco on November 3. A second public memorial will be held on January 5 at 2:00pm at Harvard University’s Memorial Church. Contributions in memory of Snibbe may be made to the Congress of International Modern Architects, 12 Gramercy Park, New York NY 10003.


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