AIA Honors D.C. Metro Designer Harry Weese among 2014 Awards

Following on the well-publicized heals of its posthumous Gold Award honor for Julia Morgan, the American Institute of Architects recently announced its complete roster of 2014 Honor Awards.

The annual national awards by the AIA already grabbed plenty of attention when it honored Julia Morgan with the organization’s highest award, but the complete roster of 2014 Honor Awards includes more splashy choices, including the Washington, D.C., Metro rail transit system designed by Harry Weese, FAIA, selected for the 2014 AIA Twenty-five Year Award.

According to Zach Mortice, the Washington D.C. Metro rail transit system “[matches the] ideals of ‘Great Society’ liberalism and Mid-Century Modernism…Washington Metro gives monumental civic space to the humble task of public transit, gravitas fit for the nation’s capital.”

Mortice also notes a particularly critical moment in the planning of the system: “Throughout the long, arduous process of federal approvals, perhaps the most auspicious event in Metro’s development was when Weese was called before a government review board and harangued for not spending enough money.”

Taking an inherent political stance in its selection of Morgan for the Gold Award, could it be that by honoring Weese and the D.C. Metro system the AIA is also making an argument for greater investment in visionary infrastructure projects in the United States?

Full Story: 2014 Twenty-five Year Award

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