Public Service Award

A program that recognizes those individuals or groups who have:

  • enhanced the built environment, or
  • educated the public, or
  • supported the architectural profession

The Public Service Award acknowledges the impact that an individual or group can have on the design process.

Eligibility: AIA Connecticut members may nominate candidates. Because the intent of the program is to credit clients or facilitators who recognize the human value of architectural design to the community as a whole, architects are not eligible.

2018 Honor Award Recipient: Karyn M. Gilvarg

Karyn served as Executive Director of the New Haven City Plan Department for more than 23 years, with integrity, fairness, and encyclopedic knowledge of the City. She was responsible for framing the City’s comprehensive plan and for providing staff support to the City Plan Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Historic District Commission. She advised two Mayors and dozens of City and regional colleagues on details of Federal, State, and local projects that changed the face of the City. In that span of time, Ms. Gilvarg reviewed and made recommendations on approximately 1,500 applications for construction, development, and land-use changes. It is safe to say that since 1994 no one has worked harder or been more successful in maintaining the quality of the built environment of New Haven.

Evidence of her influence and talent appears all around us, from the high-arching Church Street South Bridge over the railroad tracks connecting downtown and the harbor, to the allied medical facilities filling in the once-vacant Route 34 corridor west of Park Street, to the Farmington Canal Line pedestrian and bicycle path beginning at State Street and stretching north to Cheshire.

Karyn’s outstanding tenure as the City’s chief planner will endure in a number of significant plans for current and future development such as Downtown Crossing, the Long Wharf Growth Plan, and the entire Quinnipiac River waterfront.  Beyond the hard evidence, however, she will be hard to match for the breadth of her knowledge about the City, her calm and fair demeanor, and her rich sense of humor.

Award of Merit:
Melody Currey and Kostatinos Diamantis

Nominated by Kermit D. Thompson, FAIA, tbe supporting statement he submitted described the  how Commissioner Currey and Director Diamantis have transformed OSCG&R and Connecticut’s school-funding programs making processes more collaborative and friendlier to architects and school districts, and more streamlined and time efficient while maintaining local autonomy and design independence. Under their leadership the OSCG&R is now regarded as an accessible and supportive resource assisting school districts and their architects through the regulatory review process. We applaud your contribution to the State of Connecticut architectural community


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