On November 16, SCI-Arc Trustee and Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award, conferred in Washington on November 22, is the highest honor for civilians who have significantly advanced the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural endeavors, private or public.
"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian tribute—it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better," said President Obama in a press release. "From scientists, to philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way."
The Canadian-born architect established his practice in Southern California in the early 1960s, and has been responsible for shaping both the local and global urban fabric. Internationally, Gehry is renowned for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Locally in Los Angeles, his work can be seen at the Chiat/Day Building, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and at his own residence, the Venice House. Most recently, he has been commissioned by the Los Angeles River Corporation to develop policy and devise a new plan for the Los Angeles River bed.
"I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor than Frank Gehry," says SCI-Arc Director and CEO Hernan Diaz Alonso. "He is a profound member of the architecture community and we couldn't be more proud of him."