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 .