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June 8, 2016
by AIA New York Chapter
Walter A. Hunt, Jr., FAIACredit: Gensler
Walter Hunt, FAIA, speaking at the Heritage Ball.Image courtesy of Pamela Puchalski.
Pamela Puchalski, Walter Hunt, FAIA, and Judith Hunt at the Heritage Ball.Image courtesy of Pamela Puchalski.
Walter Hunt at the Center for Architecture.Credit: Center for Architecture

The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture mourn the loss of Walter A. Hunt, Jr., FAIA – a great leader, a generous patron, and an exemplary human being. Walter worked tirelessly to bring the vision of a Center for Architecture to fruition in 2003. He also generously supported the Center for Architecture Foundation and its many activities. Hunt was President of AIANY in 1999, and President of the Center for Architecture Foundation in 2005. In 2012, he received the prestigious AIA New York State Kideney Gold Medal Award for a lifetime of contributions to the profession, the AIA, and the community.

Passionate about the Center for Architecture’s mission to educate a broad audience about the built environment, Walter, together with his wife Judy, supported capital initiatives and annual programming at the Center. He was committed to cultivating the next generation of patrons by bringing young professionals into the life of the organization.

Proving his dedication to educational opportunities for youth, the Walter A. Hunt, Jr. Scholarship was initiated in March 2012 on the occasion of Walter’s retirement from Gensler. It assists New York City public high school graduating seniors to pursue a professional degree in architecture. Principal contributors included the Gensler Foundation, partners and staff at Gensler, and the Hunt family.

Walter was a steady and clear leader, beloved by all who knew him. He will be missed, but his spirit and legacy will live on.

To give to the Walter A. Hunt, Jr. Scholarship fund, visit this link or send a check made payable to the Center for Architecture, with “Walter Hunt” in the memo line, to Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012.

A memorial celebration for Walter Hunt will be held on 06.28.16, 4:30 – 7:00pm, at NYAC, 180 Central Park South.

Below are words of remembrance from those who were touched and inspired by Walter’s vision, guidance, and generosity.

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Walter Hunt led the team that created the Center for Architecture. With Rolf Ohlhausen, FAIA, and Gene Kohn, FAIA, he catalyzed the concept, marshaled the resources and inspired the coming together of AIA New York and the New York Foundation for Architecture. He did this with wit, charm, and unfailing good will.

– Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director of Design and Construction Excellence, NYC Department of Design + Construction; former Executive Director, AIANY and Center for Architecture

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I was fortunate to know Walter as a professional who I worked with as well as competed against for projects. We were co-chairs of the Advisory Council to create the Center for Architecture and co-chairs for the Capital Campaign. Through all these experiences, I was honored to have the opportunity to appreciate his special qualities as a leader and as a fine human being.

Walter will be missed by all who knew him personally and professionally and will be remembered for all the wonderful things he contributed and accomplished in his lifetime.

My deepest and sincere condolences to his family.

– A. Eugene Kohn, FAIA, RIBA, JIA, Founder & Chairman, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

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Walter was a key partner in the founding and funding of the Center for Architecture. He gave his energy and connections to raise a large part of the money we needed – he was always ready to help, and without him the Center for Architecture would not have taken off as it did to become a major cultural institution and the major source of information and resources for the community. Walter Hunt was a giant in the architectural community; he will be greatly missed.

– Rolf Ohlhausen, FAIA, Ohlhausen DuBois Architects; 1998 President, AIANY

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Walter’s gifts were infinite and among them was his inspiring ability to show you how life could be more full, more fulfilling, and more fun. Walter was like a father to me and, above all, I am deeply grateful that he and Judy so lovingly embraced me into their family. Walter worked tirelessly for the people and projects he believed in, and the Center for Architecture would never have been created without his vision and determination to “get it done.” You are deeply missed, dearest Walter, and we will be raising a glass to you for generations to come.

– Pamela Puchalski, Founder and Principal, Selby Civic Consultancy; former Campaign Director, Center for Architecture

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We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Walter for his early and unwavering support for the educational efforts of the Center for Architecture and AIANY over the past 20 years. Walter championed this cause with unparalleled energy, commitment, and enthusiasm. His bright spirit and high-minded goals inspired others to join him, and helped establish the prominent place these programs have at the Center and in city schools today. His generosity and dedication to educating the next generation of architects and designers lives on in the college scholarship he endowed in 2012 to support New York City public school students pursuing a professional architectural degree, and in the hearts of those of us who were lucky enough to know him as a mentor, colleague, and friend.

– Catherine Teegarden, Director of Education, Center for Architecture

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Walter, along with his wife Judy, was a passionate supporter of the Center for Architecture Foundation, now known simply as the Center for Architecture. His support was evident from the day I became president in 2013. He visited me in my office a week later to discuss ways to increase donations, and inspired me that we could do so much more. He always held the education and scholarship of the Center for Architecture front and center. Without his inspiration and support, my term would not have seen the financial success we realized. His legacy at the Center will remain always. He will be missed.

– Joseph F. Tortorella PE, President, Silman; Former President, Center for Architecture Foundation

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On Tuesday, when I went home, my children asked me if everything was ok. They sensed something was wrong. I told them a very dear friend of mine had passed away and that I was so very saddened by it. I told them I knew few men who had been more generous to me or wise to have influenced me to be who I am today, that I knew few men who made those around him more of what they could become, and never asked for anything back but the joy of sharing with you. We have all lost one of those few remarkable people who all admire and are proud to say were touched by him.

– Michael Strauss, President, Vanguard Construction and Development Co.

 

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