As radiators creak and moan, the music of bagpipes drifts up through the window that is opened in a failed attempt to balance the heat, controlled from some unknown distant source. The jury gathers in the large empty room of classical proportion around an enormous table covered in black binders- hundreds of black binders. These binders represented the best of the best; work from those that were drawn to New York to make their mark on the world. As it has been said, “If you can make it in New York, you can make it any where,” and this body of work expressed the seriousness of their lofty goals. Our judgment as jurors could mean the affirmation of a single designer, or firm, as a dominant leader in the field, or it may signal the emergence of a talent that has yet to be recognized and serve to launch a long and prosperous career.
Known as the Stanford White Awards, after the designer that marked McKim, Mead & White as the most transformative architectural firm that America had (or has) ever seen, our responsibilities in forming a tradition of excellence in The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art design awards program for the New York Chapter weighed on us all.212