Updated March 23 at 12:28am

AIAri bestows awards on non-architects


PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island chapter of the American Institute of Architects will recognize six non-architects for their contributions to architecture on Thursday.

The chapter will present its 2010 AIAri ArchiStar awards Thomas Guerra, Henry Kinch, Lucie Searle, Linda Bradley, Charles M. Royce and Daniel Mechnig during a 6 p.m. ceremony at Hotel Providence. The judges noted that the six “went above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts” of design. This is the first year the chapter is presenting the awards.

  • Thomas Guerra, managing partner, The Foundry Associates LP, is to be recognized for his work to restore The Foundry Corporate Office Center, formerly the Brown & Sharpe property. “Starting at The Foundry when he was 14, he learned the value of hard work and attention to detail,” his nomination letter said. “In his current role as managing partner, Mr. Guerra still focuses on the details, from historically accurate window profiles to overall campus planning and operations … A campus that was once dark with abandonment is now a glowing beacon of accomplishment.”

  • Henry Kinch, deputy general manager of administration and government relations for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. Kinch is to be recognized for work to create the RIPTA Para-transit Center as well as his vision for a Major League Triple A International Museum and an interactive park at the Slater Mill historic site. “Mr. Kinch, the former mayor of Pawtucket, very much cares about Rhode Island, its communities and subsequent built environments, and he has the vision to spark community excitement and economic growth by promoting architectural projects,” his nomination letter said.

  • Lucie Searle, development manager and preservationist at AS220, will be recognized for her work to develop AS220’s buildings on Empire Street, the Dreyfus Building on Mathewson Street, and the newest work at the Mercantile Block. “Behind her humble demeanor is one of Rhode Island’s most resourceful developers and committed citizens,” her nomination letter said. “Lucie’s dedication to preserve what makes Rhode Island special, both as a champion of the arts and as a steward of historic buildings, makes her a true ArchiStar candidate.”

  • Linda Bradley, home access coordinator for Ocean State Center for Independent. “The program she manages allows for handicapped homeowners to be able to realize all aspects of mobility and significantly improves the health, safety and welfare of the people of our communities,” the nomination letter said. “Every one of her clients has specific needs and without her dedication, attention, and willingness to learn and adapt, the most important of details could not be achieved.”

  • Charles M. Royce, the owner of the Ocean House Hotel is to be recognized for work to resurrect the waterfront hotel in Westerly. “He recognized the Ocean House’s iconic place in the community and stepped in to rescue it, preserving public access to the site and its incomparable views of harbor and sea,” the nomination letter said. “His ability to get the best from every member of the team and his dedication to quality and authenticity were remarkable. These are palpable to all who enjoy the hotel today.”

  • Daniel Mechnig, president of the Providence Art Club, will be recognized for his commitment to accomplishing renovations to the club. “The Providence Art Club’s re-emergence as an outstanding civic institution last year was made possible by Dan Mechnig, the president of the board,” the nomination letter said. “He helped take a challenging building through a transformative renovation process, using faith in the club, people skills, elbow grease and perseverance.”


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