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Architect David M. Childs Honored as the Inaugural Recipient of the George M. White Award

On Thursday, October 11, 2012, the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) [1] honored David M. Childs, FAIA, consulting design partner and chairman emeritus at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, (SOM) [2] as the inaugural recipient of the George M. Whit [3]e Award for Excellence in Public Architecture at the National Building Museum [4] in Washington, D.C.

The program included remarks by the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Supreme Court justice (ret.); and the Honorable Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA [5], LEED AP, architect of the Capitol. A panel discussion on urban design and architecture in the public realm and the role of the architect in the design of the city followed, with Childs; Philip J. Enquist [6], FAIA, partner in charge of Urban Design and Planning at SOM; and Robert A. Peck [7], Hon. AIA, director of workplace consulting for the Southeast Region at Gensler [8].

The award is named for the late George M. White, FAIA, retired architect of the Capitol, who, during his nearly 25-year tenure, oversaw key construction and restoration projects around the nation’s capital. The event was sponsored by the children of George M. White:  Jocelyn White Martin and Robin Martin; Stephanie Bradford; and Geoffrey White. The reception was sponsored by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP (SOM) [2].

2012 George M. White Award Guest Speaker: The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (ret.)

 

2012 George M. White Award Guest Speaker: The Honorable Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol

 

Panelists Philip J. Enquist [6], FAIA, partner in charge of Urban Design and Planning at SOM [2] and Robert A. Peck [7], Hon. AIA, director of workplace consulting for the Southeast Region at Gensler [8], join Mr. Childs for a discussion of urban design and architecture in the public realm and the role of the architect in the design of the city.

 

ABOUT GEORGE M. WHITE, FAIA

George M. White, FAIA, was appointed the ninth architect of the Capitol in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. In this role, he created the Master Plan for the future development of the Capitol Complex. He oversaw construction of the Library of Congress’ James Madison Memorial Building [9], the Hart Senate Office Building [10], the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building [11], and the Capitol terrace infill areas. His accomplishments included the restoration of the Old Supreme Court Chamber [12] and Old Senate Chamber [13], the partial restoration of National Statuary Hall [14], the restoration of the U.S. Capitol Building’s [15] west central front, and the interior restoration and renovation of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson [16] and John Adams Buildings [17]. His conservation efforts included the Capitol Rotunda [18] canopy and frieze and the Statue of Freedom [19]. In the congressional office buildings, he improved electrical, electronic, fire-protection, and transportation systems. Other work included the expansion of the Capitol Power Plant [20] and planning and design for theNational Garden [21], located adjacent to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory [22], and for the Capitol Visitor Center [23]. He is also credited with modernizing the Office of the Architect of the Capitol and hiring a more professional staff. In addition, George White was a longtime supporter and friend of the American Architectural Foundation. From 1992 until 2005, he provided visionary leadership as a member of AAF’s Board of Regents.