Marilyn Jordan Taylor Presented With 2017 George M. White Award

Marilyn Jordan Taylor, FAIA, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and former Dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, was honored with the George M. White Award for Excellence in Public Architecture at the American Architectural Foundation’s 2017 Accent on Architecture Gala on April 13, 2017. The Gala, held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., celebrates individuals and organizations whose professional accomplishments combine architecture with civic and community betterment.

Taylor spent more than 30 years as urban designer and partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP. At SOM she led the firm’s practices in airports, transportation, and urban design, also serving as its first woman Chairman. She has been elected as a Rockefeller Fellow of the Partnership for New York City, President of the American Institute of Architects NYC Chapter, Chairman of the AIA City and Regional Planning Committee, Chairman of the New York Building Congress, and President of the Forum for Urban Design, as well as a member of visiting committees of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Architecture program at MIT. She is a board member of the Regional Planning Association, the Forum for Urban Design, and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, as well as a Housing Commissioner of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC. She also serves as Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, where she was the first architect and first woman to serve as Urban Land Institute’s Worldwide Chairman. She continues to champion a renewed focus on cities, resilient communities, and infrastructure investment.

“Marilyn Taylor is among the world’s most respected architects and is recognized globally as a thought leader in urban design,” said AAF President and CEO Ronald E. Bogle, Hon. AIA. “Her humor, warmth, and passion also contributes to her down-to-earth demeanor. Marilyn exudes deep enthusiasm and compassion in her dedication to enhancing the vitality of urban communities through design. AAF is very proud to include Marilyn Taylor among those great architectural leaders previously honored with the George M. White Award.”

The George M. White Award was established in 2012, and is named for the late George M. White, FAIA, who during his 25-year tenure as the Ninth Architect of the Capitol oversaw key construction and restoration projects in and around Washington, D.C., including the construction of Library of Congress’ James Madison Memorial Building, the Hart Senate Office Building and the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, and the restoration of the Old Supreme Court Chamber and the Old Senate Chamber. Past recipients have included M. Arthur Gensler Jr., FAIA; Kevin Roche, FAIA; and David M. Childs, FAIA.

Questions? Contact Vanessa Ofwono at or 202.787.1018.

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Posted in: Accent on Architecture Gala, George M. White Award, Print

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.