In 2009, former Architectural Foundation of Nebraska (AFN) President Bryce Hastings, AIA recommended the AFN create an award to recognize individuals outside the profession of architecture for their activities and accomplishments in the areas of professional life, which have notably contributed to the advancement of architecture.
One often thinks of the client as being the one who may inspire an architect to greatness in design. However, there are others who bring unique skills and processes that can challenge, motivate and shift the paradigms to architectural significance.
The Distinguished Commitment to Architecture Award has now been conferred to three individuals since 2010 – Connie Spellman of Omaha, James P. Abel of Lincoln, and Larry Glazier of Grand Island. Three individuals with three very different abilities to improve the built environment and quality of architecture.
Connie Spellman (2010) – the founding director of Omaha By Design, a civic planning organization dedicated to the development, implementation and monitoring of urban design and environmental public policy in Omaha’s metro area.
Jim Abel (2012) – has used his imagination to recognize the potential of certain innovative development projects in key locations in and around Lincoln that would be visually pleasing and functionally sound. These high quality projects help make the City of Lincoln an attractive location for new families and businesses.
Larry Glazier (2014) –for Central Community College, Glazier’svision was a document that would guide the college in sustainable and manageable building and program growth. The effect of his vision for creating a new image for the aging campuses can easily be seen on each campus today. He encouraged the architects on every project to think beyond the apparent problem and always design for the bigger picture and long term viability.
These three distinguished individuals are representative of the quality and significant diversity of leaders that will continue to “push the envelope” of architectural and environmental influence in Nebraska. Looking forward, it will be exciting to see the next biennial of those who are nominees for the Distinguished Commitment to Architecture Award.