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Wiss, Janney, Elstner Receive AAF’s 2015 Oculus Award



The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) is pleased to announce that Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) received the prestigious Oculus Award at the Oculus Award Luncheon on Tuesday, December 1 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. The firm was recognized for their leadership in solving structural, architectural, and material problems in historic preservation throughout the United States. The luncheon’s Keynote Speaker was The Honorable Betty McCollum (D-MN).

The Oculus Award was developed to highlight organizations whose preservation initiatives promote vibrant, sustainable communities. The motto of WJE’s founder Jack R. Janney to “ask the structure” continues to serve as a fundamental guiding statement for WJE’s approach to preservation and conservation processes.

This mentality was clear when Matthew Farmer, WJE Principal who accepted the award said, “We take pride in every assignment, whether it is something as small as a mix design for historic concrete or an anchorage detail for terra cotta…It is an honor and privilege to accept this award on behalf of all of those throughout our company that contribute to our preservation projects.”

Founded in 1956, WJE’s preservation team’s impressive expertise in historic construction has enabled them to investigate and assess historically significant properties including the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Washington National Cathedral and Washington Monument in Washington, DC. In addition, its state-of-the-art materials-testing laboratory in Northbrook, Illinois (the Janney Technical Center) has become an integral and leading component in the science of preservation and design across the country.

“Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates have long demonstrated their active commitment to preserving historic sites,” said Ron Bogle, Hon. AIA, AAF President and CEO. “Their preservation endeavors, which include Farnsworth House, the Woolworth Building, and Alcatraz Cellhouse among others have positioned them as leaders in the historic preservation field, and the American Architectural Foundation is pleased to recognize their body of work with the 2015 Oculus Award,” he said.

Preservation architects, engineers, federal and local public officials, and other leaders from the preservation world attended the event. It is the centerpiece public event of AAF’s Center for Design & Cultural Heritage, which was created in 2013 as a platform to elevate AAF’s efforts in support of America’s historic and culturally important sites, structures, and communities.  Proceeds from the luncheon help support the Center’s marquee initiatives, which include Save America’s Treasures and the Thought Leadership Forum series.

For more information or to join the conversation on the future of preservation, please contact Vanessa Ofwono, Strategic Relations Integration Manager, at vofwono@archfoundation.org or 202.787.1018.

Photos courtesy of Colin Winterbottom.

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Posted in: Center for Design & Cultural Heritage, Oculus Award, Print
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