April 17, 2007
by: Jessica Sheridan Assoc. AIA LEED AP

Event: AIANY Chapter 150th Anniversary Commemoration
Location: 111 Broadway, 04.13.07
Speakers: Patricia Lancaster, FAIA — Commissioner, NYC Department of Buildings; R.K. Stewart, FAIA — President, AIA National; Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP — President, AIANY Chapter; Christine McEntee — Executive Vice President/CEO, AIA National; George Miller, FAIA — Partner, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects & Chair, AIA150 Committee; Richard Morris Hunt; Richard Upjohn
Organizers: AIANY

AIA commemorative plaque

(Left) A plaque now resides at 111 Broadway commemorating the founding of the AIA.
(Right) Officials commemorate the AIA’s founding (l-r): Patricia Lancaster, FAIA; R.K. Stewart, FAIA; Christine McEntee; George Miller, FAIA.

Jessica Sheridan, Jeremy Edmunds

In observation of the AIA’s founding 150 years ago, members of AIA National, AIANY, and the NYC Department of Buildings unveiled a plaque at the site of the original meeting of the 13 founding architects in 1857. At 111 Broadway, NYC Department of Buildings Commissioner, Patricia Lancaster, FAIA, read a proclamation by Mayor Bloomberg commemorating the event. The text follows:

The historian Jacques Barzun called New York City’s skyline the ‘most stupendous unbelievable manmade spectacle since the hanging gardens of Babylon.’ Indeed, no city’s architecture is as synonymous with its identity as New York’s. Our residents owe a tremendous debt to the architects who have designed and constructed everything from the magnificent Beaux-Arts façade of Grand Central Terminal to the charming brownstones of Brooklyn and Harlem — and this week, we join all those celebrating the 150th anniversary of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a national organization of certified professionals whose New York Chapter contributes so much to the safety, aesthetics, and social purpose of our city’s architecture.

As I demonstrate each year when I bestow the Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design, our administration is deeply committed to these very same values. All New Yorkers are grateful for the AIA’s important work with our city’s planning and design agencies and public works community to improve the quality-of-life throughout the five boroughs.

Every day, the AIA demonstrates an incredible commitment to its mission. Throughout the year, this valuable institution sponsors programs exploring the role of architects in everything from urban design to historic preservation, and, to foster the development of the next generation of great builders, the AIA provides scholarship and educational opportunities for students and the general public through its charitable affiliate, the Center for Architecture Foundation.

At its best, architecture is an inspiring testament to humanity’s limitless capacity to imagine, create and achieve. No city exemplifies this vital profession’s spirit as does New York City — and, since 1857, no organization has contributed more to its continued progress than the AIA. We take this opportunity to congratulate the AIA on 150 great years, and look forward to building an even better future together.

Now therefore, I, Michael R. Bloomberg. Mayor of the City of New York, in recognition of this important anniversary, do hereby proclaim April 9th to the 16th in the City of New York: ‘Architecture Week.’

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of New York to be affixed.

Michael R. Bloomberg


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