AIA Architects League of Northern New Jersey Recognizes William J. Martin, AIA, With Their Highest Accolade

January 20, 2021

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AIA Architects League of Northern New Jersey Recognizes William J. Martin, AIA, With Their Highest Accolade

On January 14, 2021, at their annual Awards and Installation Program, the AIA Architects League of Northern New Jersey conferred on William J. Martin, AIA, the organization’s highest honor, the Anton Vegliante Award. It is presented to Architects who distinguish themselves for their contribution to the advancement of the profession.  Anton Vegliante came to this country from Italy and started his career as a painting contractor. He taught himself English and became an architect. He lived and practiced in Garfield where he designed numerous churches and schools. He served as Vice President of the Architects League from 1928 to 1931, when he died at the age of 47.  Anton is remembered as an honest Architect, precise, meticulous, dedicated to his profession and respected. He loved architecture.  Upon his death in 1931 his will stipulated that a bequest be made to the League, to be held in trust and that the annual interest income from the trust account would be used to make an award to the member who had distinguished themselves in the preceding year in the profession, or who, because of their achievements or accomplishments, would be deserving of the award. Over the years the award has come to represent recognition of service to the League and is considered the League’s highest honor.  Mr. Vegliante’s strive for excellence remains our inspiration in the years since his passing.



William J. Martin, R.A., AIA, P.P., LEED AP-H, was selected for his dedication to the AIA, his devotion to promoting the profession to the public, the press, elected officials and even to other architects. He is very well respected among his peers, clients and community. Bill believes in improving the lives of the greater community through design.

William J. Martin (Bill) is an architect and community planner focused on high-performance resilient and energy-efficient design configurations using cultural vernacular expression. He designed the First Certified LEED Platinum home in suburban NJ and received an AIA NJ COTE Top Ten Merit Award for the project entitled “Knight on a Chessboard”. William is the sole practitioner of WJM Architect in Westwood, NJ focusing on residential architecture and his own design philosophy. He is passionate about all forms of architecture from the smallest intricate details to elegant facades seen throughout the neighborhood. While focusing on ways to bring new structures to life, William is also involved in multiple historical societies, promoting the rich history of the Northern NJ area and what we can learn from the past. He has been a great source of knowledge on an array of topics and willing to share all that he knows with the League and the greater community. William Martin has been the Public Relations and Communications guru on the board, making sure the voice of the architect is heard across all platforms. He has also served at the State level, continuing to advocate for the architectural community and our need to be involved in key lawmaking decisions. William has also received the Trustees Award from the ALNNJ. William will be continuing his roles as a Trustee for the AIA Architects League of Northern New Jersey and co-chair for the AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee while holding other positions throughout the AIA and other organizations.

Bill noted that, “Value and service to the public and the profession of architecture,… giving back to the profession we love, that’s why we do this.”

Bill was educated at Carnegie-Mellon University (’81-’84) in Pittsburgh, PA and Pratt Institute, School of Architecture (’84-’88) in New York City. While at Carnegie-Mellon, he studied Architecture and Managerial Economics. At Pratt Institute, he studied architecture and its relationship to the economics of real estate development and received his Architecture Degree with Honors (B Arch 1988). Bill started the WJM Architect firm over 30 years ago and has designed and consulted on a wide variety of building types.

In 2020, Bill was the recipient of the inaugural AIA Architects League Community Service Award.  This award was presented for distinguished service to the community for leading the Westwood Zoning board as its chairperson for over 25 years. His service contributed to the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association’s designation of Westwood NJ as a “Great Place in NJ 2019” for a great downtown.

Bill is a tireless advocate for architects on social media. He is considered a social media influencer by AIA National and is regularly consulted by media outlets. He has been interviewed by CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and the Today Show regarding historical design trends.

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