Pillars of New York - 2013
The United Nations and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Under the leadership of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations has embarked on a historic multi-phase restoration. Completed in 1952 on a 17-acre site along the East River, the United Nations Headquarters is an International Style landmark owing its design to Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Wallace Harrison. After years of intensive use, its buildings – including the soaring Secretariat building and the domed General Assembly building – were suffering from inefficient and outdated systems and in need of restoration. Through the Office of the Capital Master Plan, the United Nations’ buildings, finishes and works of art are being returned to their mid-century splendor. By respecting the intentions of the original architects, the United Nations has demonstrated that a modern landmark can be renewed to create a safe and sustainable work environment while continuing to play a vital role in the world’s future.
Elizabeth Barlow Rogers
As the founding president of the Central Park Conservancy, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers has left an indelible mark on New York’s most important cultural landscape, the Olmsted and Vaux-designed Central Park. Under her leadership, the park’s crumbling infrastructure, deteriorating structures, and barren public spaces have been returned to the welcoming gathering spots, verdant fields and forests, and lush gardens envisioned by its creators. Since 1980, the Conservancy’s public-private partnership with the City of New York has become a model for others throughout the country. Its success is illustrated by more than 40 million people who visit the restored Central Park each year. Now, as president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies, Betsy continues to foster a deeper understanding of the importance of place in people’s lives through her many books and studies of cultural landscapes, gardens, parks, and cities.
Each year the League presents its most prestigious commendation, The Pillar of New York Award, to those who have demonstrated a keen understanding of the value of New York’s historic resources by taking extraordinary actions to protect, preserve, and promote those assets. Join the League to receive invitations to this and other special events.