David Castro-Blanco, FAIA
New York City
Professional outreach, community development
Former president of AIA New York, David Castro-Blanco, FAIA, received the Whitney Young Award “not only by assuming his professional responsibility toward the social issues of today, but by challenging the rest of society through his inspiring example,” in the words of his nomination. As founder of one of New York City’s earliest and largest Latino-owned architecture firms, the Colombian-born architect dedicated much of his career to fostering diversity in architecture. He has sponsored programming to encourage young designers of all backgrounds to join the profession.
In 1967, Castro-Blanco founded the Institute of Puerto Rican Urban Studies to help provide leadership to the Puerto Rican community and procure grants for housing rehabilitation. As an active force in affordable housing and as volunteer architect to numerous neighborhood groups, Castro-Blanco has gone beyond his professional duties to offer advice and encouragement through the most daunting of projects.
Castro-Blanco eventually expanded his firm’s scope to tackle work on transportation infrastructure, including the conversion of Boston’s landmark South Station into a multi-modal transportation center. He has been honored by various organizations and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Commerce and White House Conference on Small Business, and has chaired the AIA Minority Resources Committee.