Design and Public Service Intersect

“Citizen Architect” – The phrase has a certain resonance, and bespeaks vigilance even beyond professionalism.  We congratulate David Helpern of Helpern Architects, our client, who last month welcomed 35 potential citizen architects to a breakfast briefing that we suggested he hold in his office.  On the agenda was an introduction to New York City’s unique community board structure and the requirements for nomination. 

Speakers were architect-now-attorney Margery Perlmutter, once CB 8’s Landmarks Committee co-chair, who is now both public director of AIA New York Chapter and a new member of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  Shaan Khan from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s Office provided the history and activities of the City’s community boards.  David, who has followed Ms. Perlmutter onto CB 8, also spoke about his experience.

An e-blast from the AIA’s New York Chapter caught the attention of the New York Times, and Gregory Beyer covered the groundswell of interest in a Sunday, January 25th piece entitled “Architects Push for Space at the Table.”  “We need as many architects as possible to be at that table,” David Helpern remarked.  “Design professionals appreciate what’s at stake in land use, landmarks and community preservation, safety – the list is long.  Each Board could benefit from the service of at least one knowledgeable architect.”