The architecture, design, art and urbanism nonprofit the Architectural League of New York has announced the winner of its annual President’s Medal. The League will award the 2016 prize to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who currently serves as the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for cities and climate change.
“We honor Michael Bloomberg for his long-term vision for New York and the world’s cities, and his continuing work to address local, national, and global issues,” said Billie Tsien, president of the League in a statement. One major and well-known art and design project Bloomberg helped approve was the temporary site-specific work, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates, in Central Park.
The award comes after Bloomberg considered running for president as an Independent, but decided it wasn’t feasible. “In a three-way race, it’s unlikely any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and thrown to Congress,” he wrote in the Bloomberg View early this month. (He still hasn’t announced who he will endorse.)
Past recipients include Renzo Piano, Ada Louise Huxtable, Richard Serra, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. The League is also known for its Emerging Voices competition that honors leading young firms and designers based in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada working in creative fields related to the built environment. They will present the President’s Medal at a fundraiser dinner this April.
On a side note: if you are a student or recent graduate in architecture, architectural history, or urban studies, do check out the Deborah J. Norden Fund travel grant opportunity (up to $5,000) that closes April 22.