First Architect Nominated To New Jersey Hall of Fame

September 19, 2009

Architect Michael Graves Nominated by AIA-NJ

Michael Graves, FAIA

Michael Graves, FAIA

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) announced Sept. 15 that architect Michael Graves, FAIA, of Princeton, N.J., has been nominated for its Class of 2010. Graves’ nomination was championed by the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (NJ-AIA). Graves — the first architect to be nominated — was nominated in the Hall of Fame’s “Enterprise” category.

Graves was one of 30 nominees in five categories to be selected from a pool of more than 200 candidates who have made signature contributions to New Jersey and beyond. The announcement of the nominations commences voting for the Class of 2010. New Jerseyans — as well those from around the country — can vote on-line through Nov. 20 at the New Jersey Hall of Fame Web site at

The New Jersey Hall of Fame, which celebrated its inaugural induction ceremony in 2008, honors individuals who have made invaluable contributions to society in the categories of enterprise, historical, arts and entertainment, sports and “general.” The announcement of the nominees was made at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

“Michael Graves is one of the most influential voices in American architecture today,” said Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “He has designed projects of all types in locations throughout New Jersey, the nation and the world, including the Newark Museum and the historic renovation of the Washington Monument. In addition, his designs of furnishings and housewares have transformed how people view everyday objects.”

Graves’ belief that “good design should be accessible to all” is reflected in the popular products — from kitchen appliances such as toasters and coffeemakers to laundry drying racks — that he has designed for the Target retail chain, she noted. Though some members of the public may not be familiar with his building designs, many will be familiar with such designs as his famous Alessi teapot with its whimsical bird spout.

Kliesch urged architects and residents of New Jersey and the nation with an interest in architecture to cast their votes for Graves. The winners will be announced later in the fall and inducted at a ceremony in May.

“The members of the New Jersey Hall of Fame are role models in our society,” said Bruce Turner, AIA, who coordinated the Graves application for AIA-NJ. “A vote for Michael Graves not only brings recognition to the achievements of his distinguished career, but to the architecture profession as a whole. I urge all architects — wherever they are from — to cast their votes for Michael Graves.”

In the selection process for the Hall of Fame nominations, a group of expert panelists sorted through a master list of candidates. They then selected a list of 25 individuals in each category, which was submitted to the Voting Academy. The Academy, a group of about 100 of the state’s most prominent organizations, as well as former governors, narrowed the field to six individuals in each category.

In the enterprise category, which is open to scientists, business leaders, inventors, leaders in medicine, entrepreneurs and philanthropists, the other nominees were Mary G. Roebling, the first female governor of the American stock exchange; David Sarnoff, father of electronic communications; Wally Schirra, astronaut; Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; and Alice Waters, influential chef.

“This impressive list of nominees in the Class of 2010 proves once again that New Jersey is fertile ground for nurturing talent,” said Don Jay Smith, executive director of the Hall of Fame. “As people study the candidates and decide how to vote, they will be learning about great role models for us all.”

Graves has been at the forefront of architectural design since he founded his practice in Princeton in 1964. He is an influential theorist, as well as a diversified and prolific designer and an esteemed educator. In addition to his involvement in Michael Graves & Associates and the Michael Graves Design Group, he is the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus, at Princeton University, where he taught for almost 40 years.

Graves’ architectural practice has designed over 350 buildings worldwide encompassing many building types. Since the early 1980s, his work has directly influenced the transformation of architecture from the preoccupation with buildings that reflect the abstraction of commercial modernism to those that display a sensitivity to geographical, architectural and historical context.

An early exponent of post-modernism, Graves’s signature style has been acclaimed for its expression of enduring design principles such as composition, proportion, scale and unity, rather than of the latest trend.

His wide range of project types includes large-scale master plans; corporate headquarters and office buildings; hotels and resorts; restaurants and retail stores; sports and recreation centers; healthcare facilities; museums; theaters; university buildings; civic projects, including embassies, courthouses, monuments and libraries; and residential projects, both multifamily and private.

Graves and his firms are the recipients of nearly 200 prestigious awards and citations for architecture, interiors and product design. Some of Graves’ awards include Fellow of the AIA in 1979, the Gold Medal from the national board of directors of AIA in 2001, the AIA National Honor Awards for Design, the AIA New Jersey Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Medal of Arts from the President of the United States in 1999.

Several New Jersey projects have won the AIA’s top project award, the AIA National Honor Award. They are the Newark Museum, as well as the Gunwyn Ventures Offices, and the Schulman House, both in Princeton.

In addition to the Newark Museum and the Washington Monument, some of his most famous projects include the Humana Building in Louisville, Ky.; the Portland Building in Portland, Ore.; the Denver Central Library in Denver, Colo.; the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas — Houston Branch in Houston, Texas; the William B. Bryant Courthouse Annex in Washington, D.C.; the NCAA Headquarters and Hall of Champions in Indianapolis, Ind.; Three on the Bund, a high-end restaurant complex in Shanghai, China; and Castalia, the Netherlands’ Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in The Hague.

Projects that the firm is currently designing include the St. Regis Cairo, three towers on the Nile River that include a hotel, retail, offices, condominiums and apartments; and Resorts World at Sentosa in Singapore, which includes six hotels, a convention center, theaters and entertainment facilities, a maritime museum, a marina with the world’s largest marine animal park, a world-class spa and shopping malls. Both projects are under construction. Also under construction are the Mitchell Institute and Physics Building at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The Wu-Wilcox Halls additions/renovations at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. have just been completed and opened to incoming students. Alter Hall at the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., was completed in January, 2009.

Other New Jersey projects statewide include the Miele North Americas Headquarters, Princeton, N.J.; Delaware River Port Authority Headquarters, Camden, N.J.; U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building Historic Renovation and Restoration, Trenton, N.J.; Laurel Hall, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J.; Karnoutsos Arts & Science Hall, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, N.J.; and Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Princeton, N.J.

Currently, Michel Graves & Associates is the architect for a major expansion of the Newark Museum. Called the 100th Anniversary Project, the first phase of construction is a 450-car parking garage designed with a façade that will enhance the street edge. In addition, the firm is currently designing Public School No. 16, a new school building in Paterson, N.J.

Although supported by private funds, the New Jersey Hall of Fame operates under the auspices of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in East Rutherford, N.J. While the Hall of Fame currently exists only on the Web, plans call for a mobile museum that will take exhibits to schools and communities around the state. In addition, the Hall of Fame plans regional museums in Trenton, Newark, Asbury Park and Atlantic City.

The 2009 inductees included Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Jon Bon Jovi, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Althea Gibson, Jerry Lewis, Guglielmo Marconi, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Rizzuto, Paul Robeson, Carl Sagan, Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams.

About the New Jersey Hall of Fame
The New Jersey Hall of Fame was created to honor citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. The Hall of Fame reinforces the message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing. By presenting significant and powerful role models and teaching young people about the voting process, the Hall of Fame is a source of learning, inspiration and hope for children. For more information or to make a donation, visit the Web site at

By | Posted in AIA-NJ News | Tagged: , | Comments (2)

2 responses to “First Architect Nominated To New Jersey Hall of Fame”

  1. […] of Fame (which might explain why the NJ-AIA has taken an interest in his selection, its president urging aficionados to cast their online votes for the designer). Also, though the NJHOF might not be the most storied institution around, were […]

  2. Bruce D. Turner, AIA says:

    Mr. Beane / Metropolis POV: AIA New Jersey is not only “taking an interest in his (Mr. Graves) selection,” AIA New Jersey in fact nominated Mr. Graves for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. At this point Mr. Graves’ nomination has been successful through the first two stages of the nomination process; namely 1)selection by a group of expert panelists, and 2) selection by the NJHOF Voting Academy. At this point in order for Mr. Graves’ nomination to be fully successful and for him to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, he must be successful in the final stage, the public vote. That is the reason AIA-NJ is now urging all (not just aficionados) to cast their vote for Michael Graves for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Adults and children of all ages, from across the nation and around the world; architects, family, friends, colleagues; anyone and everyone; all are eligible to vote.



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