PennPraxis and PlanPhilly win annual Henry J. Magaziner Award

PennPraxis and PlanPhilly are the recipients of the annual Henry J. Magaziner, EFAIA, Award of the AIA Philadelphia Historic Preservation Committee.

The award recognizes a person or organization that has made a significant contribution to the preservation of Philadelphia’s built environment, and for whom building preservation is not a primary mission.

The AIA preservation committee selected Penn Praxis and PlanPhilly for their “significant contributions to improving the quality of the built environment, for involving the general public in the discourse on how the built environment affects social and community issues, and for including issues of historic preservation and the architectural heritage in Philadelphia in that discourse.”

“Receiving the Magaziner Award is wonderful recognition of the importance of civic dialogue in positively shaping the future of the built environment.” said PennPraxis Executive Director Harris Steinberg. “PennPraxis and PlanPhilly strive to serve as honest brokers in the at-times contentious world of planning, design and development – helping to bring examples of urban design excellence to the shaping of the public realm.  We’re deeply honored to receive the award and humbled by the company of past recipients that we are included in.”

Henry Jonas Magaziner, who died at 100 years of age on Dec. 25, 2011, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Architecture in 1936. Through the 1960s he practiced independently until joining the National Park Service in 1972 as Regional Historical Architect and Architectural Historian, Middle Atlantic Region, from which he retired in 1987. Long before it was fashionable, Magaziner was an outspoken supporter of the preservation of Victorian-era buildings and served as both board member and president of the 1859 Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Germantown.

Ashley Hahn, who joined PlanPhilly in 2011 and edits the Eyes on the Street blog, has a special interest in preservation. “Philadelphia’s built heritage is at once remarkable and undervalued,” Hahn said. “We hope to inform preservation conversation by sharing stories about buildings ripe for historic designation or reuse, revealing layers of history at familiar places, and demystifying preservation policy.”

The award will be presented at the Preservation Achievement Awards luncheon on Wednesday, May 15. The event is sponsored by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia., a six-year old alternative media news website dedicated to covering design, planning and development issues in Philadelphia, is a project of PennPraxis, the clinical arm of the School of Design of the University of Pennsylvania.

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