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ATLANTA-The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has awarded John C. Portman Jr., founder of John Portman & Associates, the Lynn S. Beedle Award. The award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to both the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment.

Portman accepted the award on Oct. 22, at the 2009 CTBUH Awards Dinner, which took place in conjunction with this year’s CTBUH Chicago Conference. According to the CTBUH website, the Lynn S. Beedle Award “recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment during his or her professional career.” The website goes on to say that the contributions go beyond the buildings themselves and the professional community “to enhance the cities and lives of their inhabitants.” Past recipients have been Cesar Pelli, Alan Davenport, Gerald D. Hines, Charles DeBenedittis and Lynn Beedle.

“While John Portman has been, and continues to be, involved in many significant tall building projects around the world, what sets Mr. Portman apart is the way in which he considers not just the building itself, but the greater context of its surroundings,” the awards jury commented. “His careful urban planning and ability to weave art, nature and the pedestrian experience together in his designs has led to the successful revitalization of many neighborhoods.”

Portman’s projects include the Atlanta Merchandise Mart and Peachtree Center, Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, the Renaissance Center in Detroit and the New York Marriot Marquis Hotel and Theater in Manhattan. He was also responsible for the Brussels International Trade Mart, the Regent in Singapore and Shanghai Center in China.

A native of Atlanta, Portman served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, then attended the Georgia Institute of Technology. While in college, he was employed with architectural firms Ketchum, Gina and Sharp and H.M. Heatley Associates. Upon his graduation with a bachelor of architecture degree, Portman served an apprenticeship with Steven & Wilkinson in Atlanta, then launched his own small firm. The firm merged with a practice run by H. Griffith Edwards, a former Georgia Tech professor to become Edwards and Portman. When Edwards retired in 1968, the company was renamed John Portman & Associates.

Portman has received many regional, national and international accolades throughout his career including Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Architects, the Horatio Alger Award and Award for Excellence for the Embarcadero Center from the Urban Land Institute. His service to the community over the years has also netted Portman honors including the Touch of Liberty Award from the Anti-Defamation League and the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness Award.

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