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Mayors Carolyn and Oscar Goodman Honored
with the 2014 Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award



On Friday, April 24, 2014, Mayor Carolyn Goodman (2011 – present) and former Mayor Oscar B. Goodman (1999 – 2011) were honored as the fourth recipients of the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award at the 25th annual Accent on Architecture Gala in Washington, D.C. The Riley Award is presented each year jointly by the American Architectural Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to a U.S. mayor for excellence in urban design leadership.

The Goodmans were selected for the Riley Award for their revitalization of the downtown area during their consecutive administrations. The Las Vegas downtown transformation has been made possible in large part by a series of creative public-private partnerships forged and cultivated by the Goodmans. Among them is the relocation of online retail giant Zappos’ corporate headquarters from Henderson, Nev., into Las Vegas’ old City Hall, a 12-acre campus in the heart of downtown.

Of the Goodmans’ work in Las Vegas, AAF President & CEO Ron Bogle said, “One of the great challenges of successful city design is having consistent, committed civic leadership to support and guide design innovations from concept through implementation. Not only have the Goodmans brought that type of leadership to Las Vegas themselves, but they have helped to establish a design culture among Las Vegas city leaders that bodes well for the future.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran added, “The Goodmans have had the foresight and drive to turn the city of Las Vegas into a cultural destination. They both have had the vision and ability to recognize that arts and culture attract youth, and youth attracts jobs and economic growth.”

In addition to their transformation of Las Vegas’ downtown area, other achievements in urban development include the Fremont East Entertainment District, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement (aka the Mob Museum; principal design team: Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL) and Gallagher & Associates), and the Frank Gehry-designed Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

“We already have so many examples of how architecture can be integrated into the overall eclectic design of our downtown buildings. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Frank Gehry-designed Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health are two fine examples, and we’re just getting started,” Mayor Goodman said. “We will continue to work to ensure future buildings in the downtown will be elevated to a high level architecturally.”

Ron Bogle, CEO and President of AAF; U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran; former Mayor Oscar Goodman; Mayor Carolyn Goodman, and G. Sandy Diehl, CEO and Founder of SD Global Advisors. Featured image courtesy of David Hathcox Photography

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The American Architectural Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the role of architecture and design in American society since its founding in 1943 by the American Institute of Architects.

In its 75 years in existence the Foundation’s work has taken many forms — from educational programming and exhibitions in its early years to large-scale design initiatives and programs —all of which serve to create a rich legacy.

As the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design for twenty years, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Foundation helped move the needle on design and cities. And, through its other signature programs like Save America’s Treasures in partnership with National Parks Service, the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, and Design for Learning, the Foundation has provided critical design leadership training and technical assistance to hundreds of elected officials, education leaders, business leaders, and other key decision makers in the design process.

In recent years, cities and civic leaders have embraced design and design thinking in a way that could not have been imagined when the Foundation begin its work back in 1943 — and AAF’s role in this transformation is a source of great pride for the Foundation. With this increased interest in the role of design in shaping our cities came a proliferation of new organizations to support and facilitate this cultural shift. These advances in the role of design in American society and changes in the nonprofit design sector, coupled with the departure of the organization’s longest-serving CEO, prompted the Foundation’s Board to embark on an intensive and lengthy process to examine the ongoing role and work of the Foundation.

As the Board of Regents reflected on the positive changes of the cultural value of design, the accomplishments of the Foundation, and how the legacy of the Foundation’s work is being carried out by its former staff in new roles and organizations across the country, they reached the conclusion that the American Architectural Foundation had accomplished what it set out to do. As a result, the Foundation began to complete its remaining programs and wind down its operations in the Summer of 2018 and the organization’s endowments have been distributed to allied organizations. The Foundation’s research and reports will remain available on its website as a resource to the field.

The Foundation’s work would not have been possible without the incredible talents of its many staff over the decades, the generous support of its funders, and the tireless dedication of its civic & design partners across the country. The Board remains deeply proud of the significant contributions Foundation has made in its 75-year history and would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the efforts, dedication, and support from so many of you.