The AIA’s Citizen Architect Resolution describes civically engaged professionals serving their communities. AIA believes that these advocates for the greater public good should be actively supported in their efforts by fellow AIA members. The resolution commends all Citizen Architects with the hope that their good works will motivate and inspire other architects to serve in the civic realm.
Buffalo Architecture Foundation couldn’t agree more!
To celebrate Citizen Architects in Western New York, the foundation is the proud sponsor of the Pro Bono Publico Awards in recognition of exemplary services provided to deserving not-for-profit clients.
Buffalo Architecture Foundation (BAF) is pleased to announce Carmina Wood Morris, DPC as the recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award in Design Excellence for their thoughtful work on behalf of First Trinity Lutheran Church.
Over the past 5 years, Carmina Wood Morris, led by Partner Jonathan H. Morris, AIA, has provided a variety of pro bono services to First Trinity Lutheran Church in Tonawanda, enabling its congregation to grow, its facilities to expand, and its ministry to pursue their mission.
A phased capital improvements strategy identified several key projects. First, an undercroft was renovated into a vibrant new multi-purpose meeting and youth ministry space. Next, the acquisition of additional property allowed for a new parking lot and church entrance, as well as a garden and preschool playground. Most recently, the oldest part of the church has been repurposed for classroom space, while the basement and choir loft have been made fully accessible.
The Pro Bono Award jury was impressed by the respectful, yet playful, design approach to the new gathering spaces. Senior Pastor Reverend Dr. Charles E. Whited, Jr. praised the firm for considering “our need to stay true to our spiritual heritage, but also our desire for functionality and aesthetics. The results have been phenomenal.”
The renovated and reinvigorated campus has extended the church’s outreach beyond its parishioners and into the greater community, with many outside organizations regularly using the new multi-purpose spaces. Morris views “this opportunity to help (First Trinity) pursue their mission through our pro bono effort as a way of returning a small portion of blessings received to positively impact the community. We are proud to donate a portion of our work here as part of the momentum that is transforming Buffalo.”
BAF applauds the Citizen Architects of Carmina Wood Morris for their creative contributions to a lively community anchor.
Buffalo Architecture Foundation (BAF) is pleased to announce Dirk Schneider, AIA, Partner at CJS Architects, as the recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award in Distinguished Service for his remarkable commitment to the historic Chautauqua Amphitheater.
The Chautauqua Institution is internationally renowned as a progressive forum for American culture and enlightenment. Built in 1893, the 4,000-seat Chautauqua Amphitheater has welcomed millions of visitors to significant educational, religious, and entertainment programs featuring distinguished historic luminaries. The esteemed venue is recognized as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
When the Institution discussed plans to replace this iconic contributing structure to the National Historic Chautauqua District with a replica, the Committee to Preserve the Historic Chautauqua Amphitheater formed and launched the Save the Amp campaign. The Committee began collaborating with CJS Architects in November of 2014 and noted that Schneider “immediately became a valuable partner” in their mission to present alternatives to demolition and to bring transparency to a challenging and often contentious process.
The Committee credited Schneider with developing a sustainable, “practical and refreshingly logical” approach to maintaining the building’s historic integrity while meeting the Institution’s key objectives of improving safety, accessibility, capacity and functionality.
Paul Goldberger, a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair, as well as former Architecture Critic for The New Yorker and The New York Times praised CJS Architects’ “intelligent, creative and exciting” proposal for demonstrating “that it is possible to bring this structure to a 21st century standard without destroying it.”
The Pro Bono Award jury was intrigued by “the flexibility and transitional quality of the solutions”, which allow for the amphitheater to evolve with the needs of the Institution.
Schneider notes, “I believe that pro bono work…is one of the best ways practitioners can have a positive impact on their communities.”
Just this past Saturday, the Institution Board decided to take more time to further evaluate construction bids for replacing the Amp. Perhaps the delay suggests that there is still an opportunity to save this National Treasure.
BAF applauds Citizen Architect Dirk Schneider of CJS Architects for his meaningful contribution to Save the Amp.
To view all of our past Pro Bono Publico Award recipients, visit our Pro Bono Mission page.