Gala Extravaganza 2019

The Bridge (3)

ESKW/Architects’ Randy Wood, Michael Ong, and Sunčica Jašarović at The Bridge’s Partners in Caring Awards Gala.

ESKW/Architects was pleased to attend several benefits the first week of June 2019, in support of the nonprofit organizations we’ve worked with for many years.

BRC

On June 3, the Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC) held its annual The Way Home Gala to raise funding for its over 30 programs that help clients achieve their goals of managing mental illness, overcoming addiction, obtaining employment, and finding a place to call home. Over the last year, BRC has served 8,656 people, fielded 12,511 calls on its Homeless Helpline, and seen 5,386 clients successfully complete a program. We’re proud that Reaching New Heights Residence and The Apartments at Landing Road is a place they’re proud to call home.

The event honored Linda Gibbs, Partner at Bloomberg Associates and former NYC Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services, where she spearheaded major initiatives on poverty alleviation, juvenile justice reform, and obesity reduction. During her tenure from 2005-2013, NYC was the only top-20 city in the U.S. whose poverty rate did not increase while the national average rose 28%. Before that, she served as Commissioner of NYC Department of Homeless Services.

The benefit raised over $1 million and featured a performance from Broadway star Desi Oakley.

The Bridge

The following day on June 4, The Bridge celebrated its 65th anniversary at the Partners in Caring Awards Gala, where they honored Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; Jonathan D. Resnick, a developer of affordable and supportive housing; and Dynamic Air Conditioning Company as a corporate partner.

The night’s program included a video package about clients and partners, as well as a speech from client Charles De San Pedro, Jr., who is now pursuing social service work after his own struggles living on the street. “Homelessness has really taught me to appreciate what I have,” he said.

The powerful story was a highlight of the night and nearly tear-inducing, said one of our team members who attended. “Those stories are always a great reminder of why we’re doing this work,” Sunčica Jašarović added. Last winter, ESKW/A celebrated the ribbon-cutting of East New York Avenue with The Bridge, and currently 3500 Park Avenue is under construction.

Project Renewal

Also on June 4, Project Renewal held its 2019 Benefit + Auction, which honored Jonathan F.P. Rose of Jonathan Rose Companies, a mission-focused real estate development, planning, and investment firm.

Table centerpieces featured lively plants reminiscent of green roofs in a nod to the development of Bedford Green House, which topped out earlier this year in March.

“Bedford Green House’s design was inspired by the idea of biophilia, that there’s an innate emotional affiliation between human beings and other living organisms,” Rose said. “Deeply integrating housing and nature, in the project’s front yard there will be a colorful community with jungle gyms, musical instruments, and water fountains, all of which will be accessible to both families that live there and the community. In the rear yard, there will be a beautiful landscaped area with space for yoga and exercise classes. And the pièce de résistance of this project, and the real vision of Project Renewal, is a rooftop greenhouse, which will be filled with nutritious produce, an innovative vertical farming system, and it will also raise fish, providing a whole symbiotic ecosystem.”

The event celebrated Project Renewal’s several workforce development programs, including the Next Step Internship and Culinary Arts Training programs. Diana Perez, a graduate of Next Step, told her story of overcoming addiction and homelessness to pursue a career as the director of a future Project Renewal program.

“When I went into rehab, I met a lot of good people that helped me stay on the right track, and I want to be that for other people,” she said. “I have big dreams of how I’d want to run something. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for the Next Step program, because this is where I feel like I’m actually doing something that I love and I’m dedicated to. It’s honestly unbelievable that I’m here; three years ago, I would’ve never thought it was possible.”

Over 800 people attended the benefit, which raised over $1.6 million.

Settlement Housing Fund

Closing out the week on June 6 was SHF’s 2019 Annual Benefit commemorating its 50th anniversary with the theme: “Building Housing. Providing Opportunities. Improving Lives. Since 1969.” The event honored Alicia Glen, former Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development for NYC; Anthony Richardson, Executive Vice President for Development of NYC Housing Development Corporation; and Charles S. Warren, Partner of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.

We are proud to be part of their vast development portfolio dating back to the 1980s. “It is beautiful that SHF is celebrating 50 years of service to New York. We’re proud to have worked with them for close to 40 of those,” said Kimberly Murphy, Partner. “A professional highlight for me definitely includes working with them on New Settlement Community Campus. We’re constantly impressed with their innovation in development and dedication to the end goal.”

Fundraising events are not only important for the organizations’ missions, but they are a wonderful opportunity to connect with our development community and celebrate the great work that our clients provide to our fellow New Yorkers. We’re proud to continue this work into next year and beyond.

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The BSA Awards Gala

By Kimberly Murphy, AIA, Associate, ESKW/A

On behalf of the entire New Settlement Community Campus team, I was honored to attend the 3rd Annual Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Awards Gala and accept our Citation Award for Educational Facilities Design with my husband Mark Wagner. The sold-out Gala was a wonderful evening of professional camaraderie, as well as a great reason for a mini-trip to Boston. The Gala was held at the Boston InterContinental Hotel with sweeping views of the Boston Harbor and Fort Point Channel. The festive atmosphere was perfect for making connections with other architects working in an urban environment.

Ben Gebo Photography

We were able to meet up with former ESKW/A co-workers Janine Sutton and Kelly Kurlbaum and catch up on their professional and personal lives. I was shockingly unable to convince them to leave miserably cold Boston and return to horrendously cold New York, but I will try again in the spring.

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We even managed to fit in a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art by Diller + Scofidio + Renfro which was our first time seeing the impressive building. Unfortunately we were a day too early and missed the Nick Cave exhibit, but the building itself was enough for two architects away from their kids for a day.

It was an honor to be recognized by our peers for design achievement for New Settlement Community Campus.two-images

Gala photos by Ben Gebo, www.bengebo.com

True Colors receives BSA award at Gala

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by Janine Sutton

I was honored to represent ESKW/A at the 2nd Annual Boston Society Of Architects (BSA) Awards Gala. We are proud that our project True Colors Residence for non-profit West End Residences was honored with a BSA Design Citation Award in the Housing Category. The sold-out event brought designers, collaborators, contractors, engineers, and owners together for an inspiring night to celebrate excellence in design. Festively decorated, the Grand Ballroom of the Boston Marriot Copely Place hosted an opportunity to meet other architects and professionals in related fields.

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The photos of the winning projects scrolled on two large projection screens throughout the evening, giving every attendee a taste of the diverse practices and honored buildings. It was exciting to see True Colors Residence among them.

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Jane Thompson received the BSA Award of Honor. Her inspiring speech touched on her diverse career, from working with Walter Gropius, to the instantly successful Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, to waterfront revitalization projects around the world.

The Gala was great fun, an inspiring night, and a good excuse to get dressed up! It is gratifying to be recognized by our peers for work with clients whose social missions continue to inspire us.

You can see more about the Gala on here, and on Flickr. 

All photos in this post were used with permission from the BSA. All ©2013 Ben Gebo Photography.