Blackney Hayes Architects congratulates founding principal John Fox Hayes, FAIA, on his receipt of the 2013 Thomas U. Walter award. This award is presented annually by the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects to a current member of the architectural profession, and is intended to recognize his or her contributions to the architectural community through service to the AIA and other related professional organizations. The award honors Philadelphia architect Thomas Ustick Walter, one of founding members of the AIA. His most noteworthy project was the design of the central dome and the flanking chambers for the Senate and House or Representatives at the United States Capitol in 1850. Walter served as the Capitol architect from 1850 until 1865, and is considered by many to have been a dean of American architecture.
In accepting this year’s Thomas U. Walter Award, John Hayes offered the following reflections on the formation of the Charter High School for Architecture and Design (CHAD): CHAD demonstrates why I love the profession of architecture.Architecture is about making the world better. Our buildings are designed to enrich the lives of the community that they impact. We want to leave a lasting improvement in the world. As architects, we care and we try to do genuine good.
CHAD was started by a group of Philadelphia AIA members who didn’t know exactly what they were getting into, but wanted to do something to make the city better. I was just one of the people sitting in that room when CHAD was conceived. Now CHAD is 14 years along from that first idea. It has served thousands of children. It has been a safe haven, home, and school to children in our community. CHAD has a 95% plus attendance rate; 90% plus of the students go on to higher education. CHAD has survived and succeeded against some pretty serious obstacles because of the commitment of this community.
Architects have always been dreamers and visionaries. On behalf of all of you that have contributed to the success of CHAD I want to thank you, and I thank the AIA for this distinction. I deeply appreciate it.