New Haven's Cesar Pelli to Receive Barrier-Free America Award for Design of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
1 hour, 41 minutes ago

To: State Desk

Contact: David J. Uchic of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, 202-416-7667

WASHINGTON, April 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is proud to announce that Cesar Pelli, FAIA, architect of the world's tallest buildings, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be the recipient of the 2003 Barrier-Free America Award for his design of Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) Washington National Airport. Pelli is the founding principal of Cesar Pelli & Associates, New Haven, Conn. The award will be presented on April 17 in New Haven, Conn.

It is estimated that the demand for accessible design solutions will skyrocket in the next 25 years as the number of Americans over the age of 50 increases to a total of 115 million individuals. Add to this the number of Americans with disabilities and our country faces a significant number of individuals whose lives would be enhanced through accessible design at home, work or in public places.

The Barrier-Free America Award was inaugurated in 2001 to recognize individuals who have made a difference in breaking down the physical barriers that face individuals with disabilities everyday. The previous recipient of this award was Bob Vila, who was recognized for his work to provide awareness for accessible architectural solutions.

Pelli's hard work became a reality when Washington National Airport's terminals B/C opened on July 27, 1997. In 2002, nearly 132 million passengers used the airport.

Born in Argentina, Pelli is the former Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University. In 1995 he received the prestigious AIA Gold Medal, and in 1991, was selected as one of the 10 most influential living American architects.

"It is a great honor for me and my design for the North Terminal at Reagan Washington National Airport to be recognized with the Barrier-Free America Award," stated Pelli. "I am delighted to share with an organization as esteemed as the PVA our vision of a more humane and barrier-free architecture. It reinforces the premise that good design can also mean accessible design."

"We are very pleased to present Cesar Pelli with the 2003 Barrier-Free America Award," stated PVA National President Joseph L. Fox, Sr. "His design of National Airport makes a real difference everyday in the lives of thousands of disabled travelers who come to Washington knowing the airport is accommodating and obstacle-free. It is the work of people like Cesar Pelli who help move PVA closer to attaining one of our goals - a country that is accessible to all Americans"

Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of individuals with spinal cord injury or disease. PVA is a dynamic, broad-based organization with more than 20,000 members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more about PVA, visit its web site at


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