Lifetime Achievement & Special Recognition Awards

Lifetime Achievement & Special Recognition Awards

The Urban Communication Foundation periodically honors distinguished writers and their messages to both inspire and guide present and future urban journalists and scholars.

2013: Neil R. Peirce, Journalist

2013: Neil Peirce, Journalist

On August 9th, 2013, at the annual Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication conference in Washington DC, the Urban Communication Foundation presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to the chairman of the CitiStates Group Neil R. Peirce. Peirce is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award because of his “distinguished and extraordinary leadership as a journalist with an urban vision”.

2012: Paul Gapp, Architecture Critic and Journalist

In August 2012 the Urban Communication Foundation granted a Lifetime Achievement Award to the late Chicago Tribune journalist Paul Gapp (1928-1992) for architectural criticism that won him and the Tribune the 1979 Pulitzer Prize.

Paul Gapp won his Pulitzer for columns he wrote in 1978 when he took readers on a critical paper “tour” of the city’s 46 official landmarks and historic sites. The Tribune praised Gapp’s work for its “Vision. Imagination. Taste. Experience” and “An abiding concern for the city’s environmental destiny” with his “even handed, reasoned judgments with a style that’s selectively scalding, often witty, always incisive and never excessively technical.” Gapp did “not hesitate to call the most prestigious architects and their clients to account before the bar of civic excellence,” according to Carl Condit, Northwestern University professor of art history, who said Gapp’s “writings place him in the highest tradition of American journalism.” Gapp was born in Cleveland and graduated from Ohio University with a BS degree in journalism. He worked for the Columbus Dispatch (1950-1956) and later for the Chicago Daily News (1956-1966), where he was a reporter, feature editor, and editorial writer. He also directed the Urban Journalism Fellowship Program at the University of Chicago and was the executive director for the Chicago Chapter and the Illinois Council of the American Institute of Architects.

2011: George McCue, Urban Design Critic and Author

The Urban Communication Foundation honored the journalistic legacy of the late George McCue (1910-2003) at the 2011 Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication conference in St. Louis with the presentation of a posthumous lifetime achievement award. An honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, George McCue was the urban design critic for the St. Louis Post Dispatch from 1966-1975. In 1967 Time Magazine named McCue as a prominent urban critic with a “civic conscience,” and credited him with bringing St. Louis architects, artists and city planners together. He was recognized by the magazine Architecture in 1989 as one of the few newspaper journalists “who gave a large part of their time to consideration of architecture and urban design,” and credited as one of the “people behind the comeback of St Louis.”

2008: Grady Clay, Urban Analyst and Author

Grady Clay, 91, the first urban affairs editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, and editor for 23 years of Landscape Architecture magazine, past president of the American Society of Planning Officials (now American Planning Association) and jury chairman for the Viet Nam War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Clay was selected for his work as a distinguished urban observer-critic and “extraordinary scholar/journalist who has written about the city for many years”. Grady Clay is a unique journalist/scholar/critic sensitive to the changing nature of the urban landscape. He pioneered in recognition of the inherent connection of design, architecture, quality of life and communication technology. He is a voice to be returned to and heard at a time of the increasing globalization of urban/suburban space. Clay’s books include Close-Up: How to Read the American City (1973); Alleys: A Hidden Resource (1978); Right Before Your Eyes: Penetrating the Urban Environment (1987); and Real Places: An Unconventional Guide to America’s Generic Landscape (1994). He also contributed to landmark urban anthologies: The Exploding Metropolis (1958) and The Changing Metropolis (1969), and has written for Fortune, The New York Times, Architectural Forum, Horizon, Southern Living, House and Home, House Beautiful, Ekistics, and many other publications. Clay also provided weekly public radio commentary in his “Crossing the American Grain” at WFPL-Louisville; and he originated and directed a TV documentary called “Unknown Places.”

2005: William Mitchell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

William Mitchell (1944-2010) was given the first Urban Communication Foundation Special Achievement Award for his lifetime achievements in urban scholarship exemplified by his book City of Bits: Space, Place and Infobahn (1995). Mitchell held the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. (1954) Professorship and directed the Media Lab’s Smart Cities research group. He was formerly Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning and Head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, both at MIT. Among his other important works are Placing Words: Symbols, Space, and the City (MIT Press, 2005);Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City (MIT Press, 2003); and e-topia: Urban Life, Jim—But Not As We Know It, (MIT Press, 1999).