Posts tagged with "Donald Trump":

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Studio Libeskind comes out against Trump travel ban, will boycott companies that support the administration’s policies

In case you missed it, last Friday President Trump signed an executive order that immediately prevented refugees and immigrants from seven mostly-Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) from entering the U.S. (The order halts the entry of refugees for 120 days, immigrants for three months, and indefinitely stops refugees from Syria.) The move caught everyone by surprise, including the Justice Department. The Department of Homeland Security scrambled to implement the order. Even those with valid visas and green cards were barred entry or forced to return to their point of origin. In the wake of the order, there have been spontaneous protests, condemnations from corporations and both sides of the aisle, as well as a flurry of legal activity. Now, New York and Zurich-based Studio Libeskind has added its voice to those opposing the ban:
Studio Libeskind would not exist without immigration. Daniel Libeskind immigrated to the United States, fleeing persecution and Communist rulers in Poland. His wife, Nina, co-founder of the practice, is Canadian. Daniel and Nina run the studio with three partners from the US, Germany and Afghanistan. Our Studio in New York is comprised of the most dedicated and talented architects and designers from more than a dozen countries. On any given day one can hear French, Spanish, Farsi, Italian, German, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Dutch, Turkish, Swedish, Arabic, and Korean spoken. This diversity makes us stronger and makes this practice uniquely American, not the other way around. The Trump travel ban is an affront to our freedom and core values. It affects our employees, colleagues and collaborators. Now is the time for us to join hands and take a stand. On January 21, the Studio brought nearly a 100 people to march on Washington DC. We are actively boycotting companies that support the current administration’s policies. But there is still more to do. We invite our colleagues in the architecture, design and construction communities to join us.
Where does your firm stand? Let us know in the comments or email us at: editor[at]archpaper.com (Also see: SCI-Arc issues statement in support of immigrants, students in light of Trump's anti-Muslim travel ban)
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Sign designating honorary “Trump Plaza” in Chicago removed

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It’s your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]archpaper.com.

It took over a month, but the sign designating the stretch of Wabash Avenue in front of Trump Tower in Chicago as honorary Trump Plaza was removed in mid-December. The City Council had voted unanimously to remove the sign late October after Donald Trump had referred to Chicago as a “war zone” during the third presidential debate. After the election, when the street sign was still there, some feared the city would go back on its plan out of fear of reprisal from the President-elect. For the weeks after the election, the street became the focal point of protests against Trump.

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“Pay Your Architect” says sign at the NYC Women’s March

Last Saturday, hundreds of thousands of protestors ("alternative facts" be damned) gathered across the U.S. and the world (even Antarctica!) to signal unity and resistance to the incoming Trump administration. The Architecture Lobby spotted this poster at a rally in New York City, which we at The Architect's Newspaper thought deserved a wider audience. For more coverage on Donald Trump and what his presidency means for architects, designers, and cities everywhere, click here.
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Trump proposes eliminating The National Endowment for the Arts

President-elect Donald Trump is pledging to eliminate at least two agencies that will affect architects, designers of all sorts, and even planning initiatives. The Washington Post quotes reporter Alexander Bolton: "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized... while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely." The post also reports that "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting received $445 million in 2016." (It gets additional funding from individual donors.) The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) got $148 million in 2016; the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) requested the same. The NEA has told The Architect's Newspaper that 84% of its total 2016 budget of $124 million was awarded to individuals and organizations across the country. Trump is not the first politician to propose closing the NEA and NEH, but with conservative Republicans in control of all parts of government, the endowments—created by Lyndon Johnson as part of his ‘Great society’—could, at last, be eliminated. These cuts will affect architecture and architects in many different areas and it’s hard to calculate until it actually happens. However, nearly every architecture and design exhibition in major U.S. cultural institutions is partially funded by the NEA, as are art projects in small and large cities all across the country.
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Trump puts NYC developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth in charge of infrastructure plan

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen New York developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth—of the LeFrak Organisation and Vornado Realty Trust, respectively—to spearhead his $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The developer duo, known for being chums with Trump, will be in charge of a council of around 20 builders and engineers. (Interestingly, no other job titles were listed). Unsurprisingly, though, specifics on what LeFrak and Roth will actually do have not been disclosed. However, Trump tried to reassure doubters when speaking to the Wall Street Journal. "They're pros," he said. “That’s what they do. All their lives, they build. They build under-budget, ahead of schedule.” During his election campaign last year, Trump's economic advisors Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro outlined a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Their scheme would be privately funded and supposedly allow for $137 billion in tax cuts. As reported by The Real Deal, LeFrak and Roth are both very good friends with the President-elect. "LeFrak was at one time the only personal friend allowed to bring his dogs to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, and Roth, who co-owns 1290 Sixth Avenue with Trump, has a relationship with the president-elect that dates back to the 1980s." There are no clear past historical precedents for LeFrak and Roth's role. Trump has tapped Elaine Chao, U. S. Secretary of Labor from 2001 to 2009, among other government leadership roles, to lead the Department of Transportation.  
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Over 250 architects sign open letter to Donald Trump

A letter written by the grassroots coalition Architects Advocate has been signed by 276 architecture and design firms and sent to President-elect Donald Trump. The letter focuses on three specific actions addressing climate change, a clean and competitive U.S. economy using renewable energy, and standing up against special interest money in politics. “The President-elect has pledged to create jobs in urban and rural communities. We believe the best way to achieve this is to take decisive action on climate change by investing in a low-carbon US economy because it is a win-win for businesses, people, and the environment alike” said Tom Jacobs with Krueck+Sexton Architects, one of the letter signatories. “The consensus about needed action on climate change among design industry professionals is overwhelming, and the general public supports such actions with significant majorities across party lines as well. We are not being political by speaking out—we are acting in the best interest of every American, present and future, and are inviting the President-elect to join us moving forward.” The letter is copied below: President-elect Trump, As American architects, we are dedicated to creating healthy, productive, and safe communities for all. We are committed to doing so in a way that is economically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable. In these communities, families and businesses thrive. Throughout our great history we have always depended on the natural environment. It has nurtured us and has enabled vast freedom, growth, innovation, and profit. Today we are already experiencing the potentially irreversible negative impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. American prosperity is at risk. Our children and grandchildren face the real possibility of our country and world in turmoil. Because buildings alone account for almost 40% of total U.S. energy use and 72% percent of U.S. electricity use, America’s architects are on the front line addressing climate change in a meaningful way. Action on climate change is supported across party lines by significant majorities of Americans, including the military and leaders of industry, faith, science, and education. By taking decisive action now we all can be remembered as historic and courageous actors who helped secure humanity’s future. We can turn our climate challenge into an unrivaled economic opportunity that creates desirable and healthy jobs in rural and urban communities alike. All Americans win if:
  • We invest in a clean and competitive U.S. economy that is powered by renewable energy through cost-effective and innovative solutions. This creates jobs and lowers the costs of living and doing business.
  • We stand up to the influence of special interest money in politics to create a truly level playing field. Subsidies for renewable energy technologies should be equal to the many hidden and costly subsidies that support fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Alternatively, all subsidies across all energy sources should be removed in their entirety.
  • We re-affirm America’s commitment to addressing climate change through the continued participation in the historic Paris Climate Agreement.
We invite you to join our commitment to developing healthy and prosperous communities, and to designing and building the great America that future generations deserve. Together, we can ensure our children and grandchildren will remember us with pride. Signed, 229 Architecture Firms 24 Landscape Architecture Firms 21 Design + Consulting Industry Firms 2 Organizations see following pages for all signatories Architecture Firms: agps architecture, Los Angeles CA AIM Associates, Petaluma CA Alchemy Architects, St. Paul MN Alima Silverman Architect, Santa Rosa CA AltusWorks, Chicago IL Anderson Krygier, Inc., Portland OR Angela Klein Architect, Alameda CA Ankrom Moisan Architects, Portland OR Anthony Belluschi FAIA Consulting Architect, Portland OR Antunovich Associates, Chicago IL Archimage Architects, Ltd., Chicago IL archimania, Memphis TN architect’s office, San Francisco CA Architecture Is Fun, Inc., Chicago IL architecture+, Troy NY ARExA, New York NY Bailey Edward Design, Inc., Chicago IL Bassetti Architects, Seattle WA Bauer Latoza Studio, Chicago IL beta-field, Charlottesville VA Bisbee Architecture + Design, Santa Rosa CA bKL Architecture, Chicago IL Blue Truck, Inc., San Francisco CA BNIM, Des Moines IA Booth Hansen, Chicago IL Bora Architects, Portland OR Boyer Architects LLC, Evanston IL Brewer Studio Architects, Sebastopol CA Brininstool + Lynch, Ltd., Chicago IL Brooks + Scarpa, Los Angeles CA Brubaker Design, Chicago IL Brush Architects, LLC, Chicago IL building Lab, Emeryville CA Burhani Design Architects, Chicago IL CAMESgibson, Chicago IL Caples Jefferson Architects, Long Island City NY Carlo Parente Architect, Chicago IL CaVA Architects, LLP, Philadelphia PA Charles Pipal, AIA, Riverside IL Chen & Associates, A+E, Sebastopol CA Chris Binger Architect, San Diego CA Christoper Strom Architects, St Louis Park MN Circle West Architects, Phoenix AZ Circo Architects, Inc., Riverside IL Constantine D. Vasilios & Associates Ltd, Chicago IL Cook Architectural Design Studio, Chicago IL Cordogan Clark & Associates, Chicago IL Dan Miller Architects Ltd., Chicago IL David Crabbe Architect, San Carlos CA David Fleener Architects, Chicago IL Deam + Dine, Sausalito CA Deanna Berman Design Alternatives, Chicago IL Deborah Berke Partners, New York NY Design Smak, Evanston IL Design Team, LLC, Highland Park IL Design2 LAST, Inc., Edmonds WA Dev Architects, Woodside CA Dilworth Eliot Studio, San Francisco CA Dirk Denison Architects, Chicago IL DOES Architecture, San Francisco CA Dragani Martone Studio, LLP, Philadelphia PA DRIFT-Design, Oakland CA DSGN Associates, Dallas TX Duvivier Architects, Venice CA Dwyer/Oglesbay, Minneapolis MN Eastlake Studio, Chicago IL Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, Chicago IL Ellipsis Architecture, Chicago IL emar Studio for Public Architecture, Culver City CA Environ Architecture, Inc., Long Beach CA Equinox Design, Sebastopol CA EQUINOX Design and Development, Windsor CA Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, New Orleans LA Farr Associates, Chicago IL Feldman Architecture, San Francisco CA Fiona E. O’Neill, Architect, The Sea Ranch CA Fletcher Studio, San Francisco CA Fougeron Architecture, San Francisco CA Frank Zilm & Associates, Inc., Kansas City MO GEMMILL DESIGN Architectural Studio, San Francisco CA General Architecture Collaborative, Syracuse NY Gerhard Zinserling Architects, Chicago IL Gray Organschi Architecture, New Haven CT Greater Good Studio, Chicago IL Green Building Architects, Petaluma CA Hacker Architects, Portland OR Handel Architects LLP, New York NY Harboe Architects, Chicago IL Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Chicago IL Heidrun Hoppe Associates, Evanston IL Heitzman Architects, Oak Park IL Herman Coliver Locus Architecture, San Francisco CA Holbert and Associates, Architects, Chicago IL HouseHaus, Chicago IL HPZS, Chicago IL husARchitecture Inc., Chicago IL Huth Architects, Newton MA Ibañez Architecture, Fort Worth TX Imai Keller Moore Architects, Watertown MA INVISION planning | architecture | interiors, Waterloo IA JAHN, LLC, Chicago IL JAMTGÅRDESIGN, San Francisco CA JDD-Architects, Chicago IL JGMA, Chicago IL Jones Design Studio, PLLC, Tulsa OK jones | haydu, San Francisco CA Jones Studio, Tempe AZ Jurassic Studio, Chicago IL Kaplan Architects, San Francisco CA Katherine Austin, AIA, Architect, Bend OR Kathleen Hallahan, Architect, San Diego CA Kathryn Quinn Architects, Ltd., Chicago IL Kipnis Architecture + Planning, Chicago IL Klara Valent Interiors, Tucson AZ Klopf Architecture, San Francisco CA Klopfer Martin Design Group, Boston MA Krueck+Sexton Architects, Chicago IL Kuklinski+Rappe Architects, Chicago IL Kupiec Architects PC, Santa Barbara CA Kuth Ranieri Architects, San Francisco CA lab practices, Syracuse NY Lake|Flato Architects, San Antonio TX Lance Jay Brown Architecture + Urban Design, New York NY Landon Bone Baker Architects Ltd., Chicago IL Latent Design, Chicago IL Lawton Stanley Architects, Chicago IL LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects, San Francisco CA Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Boston MA Legat Architects, Chicago IL Liv Companies, Burr Ridge IL Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, Los Angeles CA Lucy C. Williams, Architect, St. Louis MO Lundberg Design, San Francisco CA Marble Fairbanks Architects, Brooklyn NY Marilyn Standley, Architect, Sebastopol CA Mark English Architects, San Francisco CA Marlon Blackwell Architects, Fayetteville AR MAS Studio, Chicago IL Merryman Barnes Architects, Inc., Portland OR Michael Hennessey Architecture, San Francisco CA Mitchell Garman Architects, Dallas TX Mithun, San Francisco CA Morgante Wilson Architects, Evanston IL Morse and Cleaver Architects, Sebastopol CA moss, Chicago IL MRSA Architects, Chicago IL MSR Design, Minneapolis MN MW Steele Group Inc., San Diego CA MX3 ARCHITECTS, Chicago IL NADAAA, Boston MA NEEDBASED, Santa Fe NM Nicholas Design Collaborative, Chicago IL Norman Kelley, Chicago IL Northlight Architects LLC, Chicago IL Nushu, LLC, Chicago IL OKW Architects, Inc., Chicago IL Opsis Architecture, Portland OR Page, Austin TX Pappageorge Haymes Partners, Chicago IL Patricia K. Emmons Architecture & Fine Art, Seattle WA Paul Preissner Architects, Chicago IL Paulett Taggart Architects, San Francisco CA Payette, Boston MA PLACE, Portland OR Propel Studio, Portland OR Public Design Architects, Oak Park IL RATIO Architects, Indianapolis IN (r)evolution architecture, LaGrange IL Risinger + Associates, Inc., Chicago IL River Architects, Cold Spring NY RL Dooley Architect, PLLC, Bremerton WA RNT Architects, San Diego CA Rockford Architects Inc., Rockford IL Rockwell Associates Architects, Evanston IL Ross Barney Architects, Chicago IL Rubiostudio, Chicago IL Ruland Design Group, San Diego CA Conger Architects, Chicago IL Salus Architecture Inc., Seattle WA Sam Marts Architects & Planners, Ltd., Chicago IL Sanders Pace Architecture, Knoxville TN Sarah Deeds Architect, Berkeley CA Scott / Edwards Architecture, Portland OR scrafano architects, Chicago IL Searl Lamaster Howe Architects, Chicago IL Serena Sturm Architects, Chicago IL Shands Studio, San Anselmo CA SHED Studio, Chicago IL Siegel & Strain Architects, Emeryville CA SKJN Architekten Corp., Chicago IL Smith-Miller+Hawkinson Architects, LLP, New York NY SMNG A Ltd., Chicago IL Snøhetta, New York NY Snow Kreilich Architects, Minneapolis MN SPACE Architects + Planners, Chicago IL SRG Partnership, Portland OR Stefan Helgeson Associates, LLC, Edina MN Stephen J. Wierzbowski, AIA, Chicago IL STL Architects, Chicago IL Strawn + Sierralta, Honolulu HI Strening Architects, Santa Rosa CA Studio Dwell Architects, Chicago IL Studio KDA, Berkeley CA studio M MERGE, Oakland CA Studio Ma, Phoenix AZ Studio Nigro Architecture + Design, Chicago IL Studio VK, New York NY Suski Design, Inc. Architects, Chicago IL TannerHecht Architecture, San Francisco CA TEF Design, San Francisco CA Thomas Roszak Architecture, Chicago IL Tilton, Kelly + Bell, LLC, Chicago IL Troyer Group, Mishawaka IN UrbanWorks, Ltd., Chicago IL Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP, San Francisco CA Vinci | Hamp Architects, Inc., Chicago IL Vladimir Radutny Architects, Chicago IL von Oeyen Architects, Los Angeles CA von Weise Associates, Chicago IL Walter Street ARCHITECTURE, Chicago IL Whitney Inc., Oak Brook IL Will Bruder Architects, Phoenix AZ Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects P.C., Chicago IL Wrap Architecture, Chicago IL WRNS Studio, San Francisco CA ZGF Architects LLP, Portland OR 2 Point Perspective: Architecture + Interiors, Chicago IL 2rz Architecture, Chicago IL 34-Ten, LLC, Chicago IL Landscape Architecture Firms: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, San Francisco CA Coen + Partners, Minneapolis MN Fieldwork Design Group, Chicago IL GLS Landscape/Architecture, San Francisco CA Ground Inc. Landscape Architecture, Somerville MA Hargreaves Associates, San Francisco CA Hargreaves Jones, New York NY Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape, LLC, Chicago IL Lenet, Crestani, Tallman Land Design, LLC, Chicago IL LENS Landscape Architecture, LLC, Bend OR Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture, Inc., Santa Monica CA Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, New York NY Mauro Crestani & Associates, Landscape Architects, Chicago IL McKay Landscape Architects, Chicago IL Mia Lehrer + Associates, Los Angeles CA Prassas Landscape Studio LLC, Chicago IL Reed Hilderbrand, Cambridge MA Rinda West Landscape Designs, Chicago IL site, Chicago IL Terry Guen Design Associates, Chicago IL The Organic Garden Coach, Downers Grove IL Topiarius, Inc., Chicago IL Ulrich Bachand Landscape Architecture, LLC, Dedham MA Wenk Associates, Denver CO Design + Consulting Industry Firms: Atelier Ten, Environmental Design, New Haven CT Corey Gaffer Photography, Minneapolis MN Development Management Associates, LLC, Chicago IL EHT Traceries, Inc., Washington DC Green Dinosaur, Inc., Culver City CA HJKessler Associates, Chicago IL Interface, Atlanta GA Jaros, Baum & Bolles Consulting Engineers, New York NY jozeph forakis...design, Brooklyn NY Lee Bey Architectural Photography, Chicago IL Lightswitch Architectural, Chicago IL Medical Facility Innovations Ltd., Leavenworth WA New Voodou, Santa Fe NM Paul Hydzik Photography, Chicago IL Spirit of Space, Milwaukee WI Talentstar, Inc., Petaluma CA The Walker Group NW, Seattle WA Thirst, Chicago IL Threshold Acoustics LLC, Chicago IL Tom Harris Architectural Photography, Chicago IL visualizedconcepts inc., Chicago IL Organizations: Archeworks, Chicago IL Architects Advocate for Action on Climate Change, Chicago IL
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Will the GSA cut ties with Trump over his Old Post Office hotel?

[3/29/2017 UPDATE: GSA finds Trump Organization in compliance with the Old Post Office lease.] The General Services Administration yesterday announced that it will seek "additional information that explains and describes any new organizational structure as it applies to the Old Post Office lease. Upon receipt, consistent with our treatment of any contract to which we are a party, we will review this new organizational structure and determine its compliance with all the terms and conditions of the lease." The statement comes on the heels of an announcement by the President-Elect that he will be handing over control of the Trump Organization to his two adult sons, breaking with the tradition that U.S. Presidents place their businesses in a blind trust. The Old Post Office—which was redeveloped by the Trump Organization and is now the Trump International Hotel—has been at the center of the conflict-of-interest controversy since Trump was elected, as many diplomatic events have taken place there. The GSA cites the language in their lease with the Trump Organization, which was signed by both parties in August of 2013: The full language of section 37.19 is below: No member or delegate to Congress, or elected official of the Government of the United States or the Government of the District of Columbia, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom; provided, however, that this provision shall not be construed as extending to any Person who may be a shareholder or other beneficial owner of any publicly held corporation or other entity, if this Lease is for the general benefit of such corporation or other entity. The GSA had previously said they would withhold judgment about how to proceed with the Old Post Office until Trump announced his relationship to his business. Now that he has revealed his intentions to defy convention and not use a blind trust, will further review cause the GSA to cut ties with the Trump Organization if it's in contempt of the above statement, or will the GSA find that Trump has separated himself enough from the business? It will also be interesting to watch who Trump appoints as the head of the GSA, which will have an enormous impact on this project.
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AIA makes major misstep on Donald Trump

In the weeks since the presidential election, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has drawn ire from architectural professionals for releasing a post-election memo containing conciliatory and supportive language for President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to embark on a $500 billion infrastructure building program.

Robert Ivy, AIA executive vice president and CEO, released a statement on behalf of the national AIA apparatus and membership, saying in part, “The AIA and its 89,000 members are committed to working with President-elect Trump to address the issues our country faces, particularly strengthening the nation’s aging infrastructure. The memo continued, “We stand ready to work with him and with the incoming 115th Congress to ensure that investments in schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure continue to be a major priority.”

In response, The Architect’s Newspaper issued a rebuttal challenging Ivy’s magical thinking relating to the scarcely-detailed, so-called infrastructure plan put forth by the President-elect and the fundamental lack of leadership inherent in pledging blind support to a political movement expressly aligned with xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, and climate change-denying ideals.

We wrote: “It is anathema to this editorial board to fathom the positive impact of such a work of infrastructure as the proposed border wall or its attendant detention centers, federal and private prisons, and militarized infrastructure that would be necessary in order to achieve the President-elect’s stated deportation policy goals. To ignore the role design and designers could play in instituting and perpetuating the inequality inherent in the racist patriarchy of Trump’s ideology embodies is irresponsible and reprehensible.”

AN’s response was buttressed by supporting statements from dozens of architects, designers, and academics from across the field. As a consequence, Ivy issued an apology directly to AN saying, “The AIA remains firmly committed to advocating for the values and principles that will create a more sustainable, inclusive, and humane world. The spirit and intention behind our statement is consistent with and in support of President Obama’s eloquent call for us all to unite for the best interest of America’s future.”

The statement did little to quell fury in the architectural community, with members openly calling for Ivy’s resignation and at least one AIA member, Fritz Reed of Baltimore, resigning in protest. After members continued to express disapproval at AIA leadership, Ivy and AIA National President Russ Davidson issued an additional apology via video pledging to engage in listening sessions with AIA membership to better articulate a future vision for the organization and the profession. Moving forward, as Ivy and AIA leaders begin to plan these listening sessions, AN reiterates its initial pledge to stand in solidarity with AIA members and those who advocate for an inclusive, diverse, and morally responsible profession aiming to address climate change, promote equitable urbanism, and fight for design quality in the built environment.

AN will continue to listen to the architectural and design community and help articulate ways for the profession to move forward in support of the goals stated above and help lead the resistance to forces that aim to undermine the pursuit of those values.

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Chicago Transit Authority races to beat Trump inauguration to secure funding

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is anxious to receive a $1.1-billion federal grant before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Officials believe that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Core Capacity grant could be awarded under either administration, but would rather not take the chance with a DOT under new leadership. The federal grant would be used to help rebuild the north branch of the Red and Purple Line L tracks. A major part of securing that grant is to have a source of funding in place to help cover the difference between the awarded money and the needed money. The city plans to use a tax-increment financing district (TIF) to raise another $800 million over the next three decades. Some see Trump’s pick to lead the transportation transition team as a sign that public transportation money may be harder to come by under his new administration. Trump’s pick, Martin Whitmer, is the chairman of a lobbying firm that represents the National Asphalt Paving Association and the Association of American Railroads. He was also the deputy chief of staff at U.S. DOT under President George W. Bush. He has also worked as a lobbyist for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. (Elaine Chao is Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Transportation during his administration.) The CTA did point out that the reconstruction of the Brown Line in the mid-2000s was achieved under the Bush administration, with Whitmer working at the DOT. Public transportation advocates are still uneasy about the Whitmer’s connections to pro-highway and road associations. Chicago and the CTA presented evidence of additional funding, including the TIF district, for the project on November 30th. Which was also the date that the TIF district was legally allowed to take effect under the state’s legislation. If the current petition for funding is funding is approved, the decision would be made by January 15, just five days before Trump takes office.
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Trump choses Dr. Ben Carson to lead HUD

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped former neurosurgeon and Republican Presidential nominee Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Federal government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency. The announcement was made in a statement released this morning, according to The New York Times. In it, President-elect Trump said he and Dr. Carson “have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.” Throughout his campaign, President-elect Trump portrayed America's inner cities as a disaster that he vowed to fix. Dr. Carson has no expertise in housing, and while the Times reported that he spent part of his childhood in public housing, that was later disproved by CNN. Initially, it seemed as though Dr. Carson wasn't interested in a role in the Trump administration. According to ABC, just last week one of his advisors said he wouldn’t accept any cabinet positions in light of his lack of government experience (which also raised eyebrows, considering he initially ran for the nation’s highest office). But Dr. Carson also remarked to The Washington Post  that, “I’ve said that if it came to a point where he absolutely needs me, I’d reconsider. But I don’t think that’s the situation with these positions.” Created in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program, HUD has a $48.3 billion budget which goes toward objectives such as: disaster relief, reducing homelessness, working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, combating housing discrimination, and building and maintaining single- and multi-family housing across the U.S. To assume the post, Dr. Carson will need to be approved by the Senate in a simple majority vote.
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Architects propose flying pigs to deal with Chicago’s Trump sign

Chicago-based New World Design has proposed a shining art installation along the Chicago River to address the contentious Trump Tower sign. The speculative proposal is comprised of four floating golden pigs positioned to block the view of the 20-foot-tall Trump name on the building's south facade. The choice of golden pigs is symbolic on many levels. A direct reference to the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album cover, New World Design said their proposal will “encourage folly viewers to listen and make their own interpretations.” The gold color is a reference to Trump’s frequent use of gold in his branding and interior design. Directed eastward, towards Washington D.C., there is one pig for each year Trump will be in office. New World Design is located just a few blocks away from the Trump tower and the continued protests at the building's base. The latest of which happened Thursday as protesters waited for Trump to arrive at the tower on his post-election tour. He did not show up. The street in front of the tower, Wabash Avenue, carries the honorary name Trump Plaza. The Chicago City Council recently voted to remove the honorary signage in response to Trump comparing Chicago to a “war-torn country” in the first presidential debate.
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AIA Media Relations Director resigns in wake of AIA/Trump controversy

The AIA's post-Presidential election controversy continues to grow. The Architect's Newspaper (AN) has learned that Scott Frank, the AIA's Senior Director of Media Relations, has resigned in response to the AIA's handling of the crisis. According to our sources, his resignation was due to the AIA's severe mishandling of the situation. The AIA reportedly ignored Frank's advice and, in his view, demonstrated a total lack of accountability. AN will continue to report on this story as it evolves. See our previous coverage of architects voicing their outrage of the AIA's pledge of cooperation with the incoming Trump administration, how one Baltimore architect resigned from the AIA in protest, and the second video apology of Robert Ivy, executive vice president and CEO of the AIA.