This year, The Washington Architectural Foundation (WAF) and the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC) held the inaugural Fall Design Fête, on Friday evening November 15, 2013 at the Organization of American States’ Pan American Union Building. The Fall Design Fête was held to celebrate the contributions of individuals who have made Washington, D.C. better through their efforts as designers, advocates, and clients. In addition to celebrating these distinguished individuals, the proceeds from the event benefited WAF’s education and community outreach programs, including Architecture in the Schools, Design in Action, and CANstruction. Ralph Cunningham, FAIA is President of the Washington Architectural Foundation and was a co-host for the event. Cunningham|Quill was a sponsor for the event.
It was an exciting night for the 400 contributors in attendance to meet at the historical Pan American Union Building. When the building was completed in 1910, it was considered the architectural wonder of its time. The architects, Paul Cret and Albert Kelsey, set out to make the building an architectural symbol of the unity of the hemisphere by employing a harmonious combination of the major cultural influences found in the Organization’s member states. The building was designed and constructed to serve as the headquarters of what is today the world’s oldest regional organization, the Organization of American States (OAS), an association of nations formed by 35 countries from the Americas and the Caribbean.