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AIA Dallas Presents Community Honor Awards

AIA Dallas Presents Community Honor Awards

At a black-tie gala at the beautifully restored Union Station, AIA Dallas and the Dallas Architectural Foundation presented Community Honor Awards to those promoting architecture and design in North Texas.  More than 300 gathered for cocktails, dinenr and dancing in a celebration of Dallas' continuing Urban Renaissance.  The evening was skillfully emcee'd by Jeff Whittington, senior producer of KERA's "Think."  Proceeds from the evening benefitted the programs of the Dallas Center for Architecture.

The top honor of the evening was the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Reagan George, FAIA, was greeted by a rousing standing ovation as he accepted his award from Todd Howard, president of AIA Dallas.  In 1964, long before today’s emphasis on environmental sustainability, Mr. George initiated AIA Dallas’ Environmental Awareness Committee.  A 1959 graduate of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, Mr. George began his career as designer and project manager for the worldwide hotel practice of William B. Tabler, Architects in New York.  In 1963 he joined Pratt, Box and Henderson, Architects in Dallas, where he was project architect for the Great Hall of the Apparel Mart and The Quadrangle.  Until 1999, when he “retired” to the Hill Country town of Willow City (where he is now a sole practitioner in residential design), Mr. George was a partner in The Architects Partnership, senior vice president of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, and managing principal of LAN/Leo A. Daly, all in Dallas. In service to his community, he served two terms as president of the Greater Dallas Planning Council and was chair of the City of Dallas’ Urban Design Task Force. In 1977 he was elected president of AIA Dallas, went on to become a director and vice president of the Texas Society of Architects, and served on numerous committees of the American Institute of Architects.

Also recognized were three new honorary members of AIA Dallas:

Lucy Crow Billinsgley was honored not only for her leadership in transforming the Dallas cityscape, but also for the model she has become as a community leader committed to quality development and sustainable growth. She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Grameen Foundation USA, the World Affairs Council, the Hockaday School, the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, and Texas Wall Street Women.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Lyda Hill was honored for her leadership in the redevelopment of the Dallas Arts District and emergence of the Trinity River corridor.  Long known as a champion of the architect’s value, Lyda Hill has shown through her support that good planning leads to positive growth for Dallas. She is the recipient of more than 25 local and national awards for her volunteerism, business leadership, and support of education, medicine and historic preservation.  She is president of LH Holdings in Dallas.

Author, historic preservationist and urban planner Virginia McAlester is a fifth-generation Dallasite. A graduate of Harvard University and former student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, she is the author of six books—her latest is Great American Suburbs: The Homes of the Park Cities. Her first book, Field Guide to American Houses, resulted from her interest in historic homes and neighborhoods around Swiss Avenue. Her Swiss Avenue neighborhood subsequently formed Preservation Dallas. Mrs. McAlester also founded Friends of Fair Park, served on Dallas’ first Landmark Commission, and helped to establish modern form-based codes for Walkable Urban Neighborhoods, based on planning for site adjacent to the State-Thomas neighborhood.  Today, Mrs. McAlester serves on the city’s Urban Design Advisory Committee and is at work on rezoning for mixed-use development along the Trinity River. She has just received the Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History for her research and writing.

Congratulations to all of these worthy recipients!  We'll post additional updates on other honorees later this week.

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