Local architect honored at White House event
Seattle architect Johnpaul Jones will be shaking hands with President Obama on Monday. During a formal, black-tie ceremony, Jones will receive the prestigious Medal for Outstanding Achievements from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Rarely if ever awarded to designers, the medal typically is conferred each year on a handful of scholars, writers, poets and educators. Architects are usually recognized through the National Endowment for the Arts, which will be giving its annual awards at the same ceremony.
What attracted the attention of the National Endowment for the Humanities to Jones was his tremendous body of work spanning four decades and addressing cultural issues of import to our nation. Choctaw by heritage, Jones was the designer of the National Museum of the American Indian, which is a part of the Smithsonian and sits a stone’s throw from the nation’s Capitol. Its sinuous, organic form contrasts sharply with the more tailored and tightly rectilinear museums that flank other portions of the National Mall.