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Mayor de Blasio Nominates and Appoints Members of Landmarks Preservation Commission and Public Design Commission

January 21, 2015

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his nomination of Kim Lee Vauss for the Architect seat of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and his nomination of Wellington Chen as a Lay Member of the LPC. LPC is the largest municipal preservation agency in the nation, and serves to protect New York City’s architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status, and regulating them once they are designated. 

The Mayor also announced his appointment of Ethel Sheffer as the Mayor’s representative of the Public Design Commission, and his nomination of Hank Willis Thomas for the Painter seat of the PDC. Per the New York City Charter, the Mayor selects nominees for the PDC’s professional members from lists provided by the Fine Arts Federation. PDC reviews permanent works of art, architecture and landscape architecture proposed on or over City-owned property, and acts as caretaker and curator of the City's public art collection. 

The Mayor’s nominations have been submitted to the City Council for its advice and consent, as required by the City Charter.

About Kim Lee Vauss

Kim Lee Vauss is a registered architect and managing director of technical affairs at Outsource Consultants. Previously, she was vice president at Arc Consultants, a plan examiner at the NYC Department of Buildings, and an assistant architect at the NYC Loft Board. Vauss is president of the Architects Council of New York. She was a member of the NYC Code Revision Committee from 2011 to 2013 and a member of the New York Society of Architects from 2002 to 2013; she was the latter’s president from 2008 to 2009. Vauss earned her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from CUNY-City College’s School of Architecture.

About Wellington Chen

Since 2006, Wellington Chen has been the Executive Director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation in NYC, a community development nonprofit. From 1995 to 2005 he was a senior consultant and advisor to the Planning Advocacy Group, an urban planning firm. Chen also served as a Commissioner of the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals from 1990 to 1995.  In 1989, Chen co-founded Tri-Plus Construction Corporation, an affordable housing construction firm. Chen was also Vice President for Design and Planning at Urban Living, and is a trustee of the Bowne House Historical Society, CAUSE New York, CUNY, CUNY Construction Fund, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chen earned his bachelor’s degree from the CCNY School of Architecture & Environmental Studies.

About Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas is an artist who works in photography, video, sculpture and mixed media. His work deals primarily with ethnicity, culture, history and commodity culture. He has acted as a visiting professor in the MFA programs at Virginia Commonwealth University, Maryland Institute College of Art and ICP/Bard and has lectured at Yale University, Harvard University, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. He has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad including The Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg,  Galerie Michel Rein in Paris, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Cleveland Art Museum, among many others. Thomas’ work is in numerous public collections including MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the High Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.  Thomas received his BFA from NYU and his MA and MFA from the California College of the Arts. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City.

About Ethel Sheffer

Ethel Sheffer, FAICP, is an urban planner, civic and community leader, and educator. For the past 17 years, Sheffer has headed Insight Associates, a small consulting group providing research services and advice in community planning and development, land use, and collaborations among government, nonprofits, and the private sector. In the 1990s, she headed the Columbus Circle Tri-Board Task Force of Community Boards 4, 5, and 7 and the Riverside South Task Force. Sheffer also served as President of the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2002-2008. Ethel Sheffer is a Board Member of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council and a member of the Municipal Art Society’s Planning Committee, and she teaches in Columbia University’s Graduate Planning Program.

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