Offering Experience – Driving Progress
The story of my life-long commitment to architecture can be told in three chapters: architectural practice, advocacy for the profession, and service to humanity. While my time is now spent working on issues instead of projects, my focus remains unchanged. Architects are obligated to create healthy, just, prosperous, and inspiring places that resolve intransigent social, economic, and environmental problems of 20th century cities – with climate change the most urgent.
Looking back, I see that my architectural outlook is rooted in the New York City of my college years: birth of the historic preservation movement, the first Earth Day, and Jane Jacobs battling Robert Moses for the soul of the city. For the past twenty-five years, my work with Quinn Evans has defined practice at the intersection of historic preservation and sustainable design. I had the great honor of guiding the stewardship and renewal of some of the nation’s most cherished buildings.
In coining the phrase “the greenest building is…one that is already built”, I jumped into advocacy, advancing both historic preservation and green building practice by highlighting the importance of existing buildings, magnified by the climate crisis. I realized that achieving positive outcomes was greatly multiplied through advocacy. Way led to way. In 2018, I served as President of the American Institute of Architects, a threshold year for AIA’s commitment to real and measurable progress on climate change and creating a more accessible, equitable, and diverse profession.
Since completing my term as AIA President, I have worked to seize the opportunities of the global network I joined while serving. The purposefulness of these contacts has intensified in the lead-up to the UN Climate Summit (COP26) occurring this fall in Glasgow. Today, many of my activities revolve around ongoing roles with Architecture 2030, AIA, and the Climate Heritage Network, and also in my capacity as Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America and University of Maryland.