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PR- 271-05
July 12, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Joyce Menschel, President of the Art Commission, today honored eight public projects for excellence in design at the 23rd Annual Art Commission Awards. The reception, held at The Museum of Modern Art, also included a special recognition award that commended the planning and development of a new 2,200 acre public park at the site of the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island. The winning projects were selected from hundreds of submissions that the Art Commission reviewed in 2004 and exemplify the highest design standards. Joining the Mayor at the presentation was Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris.

"New Yorkers are used to the best, and tonight's awards are another example of our City's commitment to public projects that exemplify the highest standards in design," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Whether it is the first new street light in 50 years, a new work of public art or a bold new contemporary design for a public building, these designs are thought provoking and inspiring."

"It has been especially gratifying to work with an administration that has helped the Art Commission realize some of its long-held goals, and has supported major works of public art, both temporary and permanent," said Art Commission President Joyce Menschel. "As Mayor Bloomberg has said repeatedly, good design has the power to improve people's lives, and we are thrilled this evening to be awarding nine public projects that will have a positive impact both on their communities and on the City as a whole."

The Mayor announced last year the "Design and Construction Excellence Initiative."  Its goal is to encourage City agencies to strive for the same level of excellence in design for all public works-large and small. The best of those designs are recognized annually by the Art Commission. The initiative, which established new ways of contracting with design consultants that emphasize quality in the selection process, will secure the most creative designers for City-funded projects and ensure excellence in the design and construction process. Most importantly, the initiative also considers the long-term operating and maintenance savings that can be gained from emphasizing merit in design.

Within a year of announcing the initiative, significant progress can already be seen as the City has attracted world-renowned design firms as well as small and emerging ones to take on public projects.

The following are the recipients of the Twenty-Third Annual Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design:

Installation of a Sculpture by Bryan Hunt and Design and Expansion of the Triangle
Coenties Slip at Water Street, Manhattan, a project of the Department of Parks & Recreation and the Department of Transportation. Landscape architect George Vellonakis of The Department of Parks & Recreation and artist Bryan Hunt.
Installation of Portrait of a Young Reader by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle
The Bronx Library Center, 310 East Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, a project of the New York Public Library and the Department of Cultural Affairs' Percent for Art Program.
Artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle and architectural consultant Colin Franzen.
Construction of the Kingsbridge Branch of the New York Public Library
West 231st Street at Corlear Avenue, Bronx, a project of the Department of Design and Construction and the New York Public Library. Architect David W. Prendergast of Prendergast Laurel Architects.

Installation of a Sculpture of Harriet Tubman by Alison Saar and Redesign of Harriet Tubman Memorial Plaza
St. Nicholas Avenue, Frederick Douglass Boulevard, West 122nd Street and West 121st Street, Manhattan, a project of the Department of Design and Construction, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Cultural Affairs' Percent for Art Program and the Department of Parks & Recreation. Artist Alison Saar and lead urban designer Mark Bunnell of Quennell Rothschild & Partners.
Construction of Engine Company 277 and Ladder Company 112
582 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, a project of the Department of Design and Construction and the Fire Department. Project architect Scott J. Vautrin of STV Incorporated.

Reconstruction of a Step Street
32nd Street between 24th Avenue and Astoria Boulevard North, Queens, a project of the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Transportation.
Department of Design and Construction Designer Timothy Lynch.
Reconstruction of Louise Nevelson Plaza
Liberty Street, William Street and Maiden Lane, Manhattan, a project of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Design and Construction. Architects Laurie Hawkinson of Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, Ralph Lerner of Ralph Lerner Architects and Nicholas Quennell of Quennell Rothschild & Partners.
Design of a New York City Street Light Standard for Use Citywide
CityLights Design Competition a project of the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Transportation. Architect Thomas Phifer of Thomas Phifer and Partners.
Special Recognition Award
Planning and development of a new 2,200-acre public park at the site of the Fresh Kills Landfill, Western Shore, Staten Island, a project of the Department of City Planning, the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Department of Sanitation and the Department of Cultural Affairs. Landscape architect James Corner.

The projects will be on display at the AIA Center for Architecture from July 18th through August 13th. A panel discussion on July 18th will officially open the exhibition. The panel will include the artists Vito Acconci, Alice Aycock and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, the architect Laurie Hawkinson, and the landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh.

The Art Commission is New York City's design review agency. Established in 1898, the Commission's mandate is to review works of art, architecture and landscape architecture on City-owned property for aesthetic merit. It is comprised of 11 members, and includes an architect, landscape architect, painter and sculptor as well as representatives of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library.


Edward Skyler / Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958

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