FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG HONORS WINNERS OF THE 24th ANNUAL ART COMMISSION AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Art Commission President Joyce Menschel today honored eight public projects for excellence in design at the 24th Annual Art Commission Awards. The ceremony, held at The Morgan Library & Museum, also included a special recognition award for the Horticultural Society of New York's GreenBranches Program, which designs, installs and maintains gardens at branch libraries throughout the five boroughs. The winning projects were selected from hundreds of submissions that the Art Commission reviewed in 2005 and exemplify the highest design standards. The winning projects will be on display at the Van Alen Institute for one month beginning July 25th. Joining the Mayor at the awards presentation was First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris.
"Tonight, I am happy to present awards to the best public projects of 2005 for excellence in design," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The projects being recognized tonight have set a higher standard for public works and, most importantly, are enjoyed by New Yorkers every day. Through the City's Design and Construction Excellence Initiative launched in 2004, we're ensuring that new public projects - like the ones honored tonight - meet a higher standard for design and overall excellence. With more than 60 new projects now underway throughout every borough, we're improving the quality of public spaces through design achievement."
"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 honoring public projects that will have a positive impact both on their communities and on the City as a whole."
In 2004, Mayor Bloomberg established the "Design and Construction Excellence Initiative" to encourage City agencies to strive for the same level of excellence in design for all public works - large and small - that are recognized annually by the Art Commission. The initiative, which established new ways of contracting with design consultants to emphasize quality in the selection process, secured the most creative designers for City-funded projects and has ensured excellence in the design and construction process. It has attracted world-renowned design firms as well as small and emerging ones, including minority and women-owned businesses.
The initiative also considers the long-term operating and maintenance savings that can be gained from emphasizing merit in design. Projects currently in design include the Queens Hospital Center EMS Station and the Visitors' Center at Poe Park in the Bronx.
The Design Award-winning projects will be on display at the Van Alen Institute from July 25th through August 25th. An opening reception on July 25th will officially launch the exhibition.
The following are the recipients of the 24th Annual Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design:
Construction of the Weeksville Heritage Center and Adjacent Landscape, including the Installation of "Sugar in My Bowl II" by Chakaia Booker
Construction of Ronald McNair Park
Installation of the Flight 587 Memorial by Freddy Rodríguez, and Adjacent Landscape
Construction of a Step Street
Construction of Five Street End Parks
Construction of the Center for Global Conservation
Construction of plant upgrades and new facilities, Tallman Island Water Pollution Control Plant
Historic Inventory and Replacement of Seven Robert Moses-Era Vehicular Bridges and Adjacent Landscape
Special Recognition Award:
The GreenBranches Program
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.
Stu Loeser / Silvia Alvarez (212) 788-2958