Announcing the 2019 Winners of the Sarah Booth Conroy Prize for Journalism and Architectural Criticism: 

Deborah K. Dietsch
Freelance journalist Deborah K. Dietsch writes the Design Perspectives column in the Washington Business Journal. She is frequent contributor to The Washington Post, Home and Design magazine and other publications. Deborah was the editor-in-chief of Architecture magazine before working as the art and architecture critic for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Washington Times. She has also written for television and film, including recent documentaries on Houston architect Victor Lundy and Los Angeles architectural photographer Julius Shulman. Deborah has written four books, including Classic Modern: Midcentury Modern at Home and Architecture for Dummies. She earned master degrees in architecture and historic preservation from Columbia University.
Selected works:

"Design Perspectives: Midtown Center knocks it out of the parkWashington Business Journal
"Design Perspectives: Glenstone campus is all dulled upWashington Business Journal
"Design Perspectives: Bible museum architecture soars in subtle and magnificent ways"
Washington Business Journal

Jonathan O’Connell
Jonathan O'Connell has been a staff reporter at The Washington Post since 2010. He has spent much of his time there covering urban development in Washington D.C., including redevelopment of urban waterfronts, historic preservation, dramatic population shifts and a crunch in housing affordability.
Selected works:
"Del. Norton floats a new way for District to control RFK Stadium site" The Washington Post 
"For Amazon’s next headquarters, D.C. pitches four of its trendiest neighborhoods
The Washington Post
"Do posh waterfronts make a city world-class? D.C. is betting hundreds of millions on it"
The Washington Post
"Inside an eccentric mogul’s quest to save D.C.’s most distinctive buildings" The Washington Post

This is the first year two awards have been granted. The jury felt that the two winners represent two different perspectives of architectural writing, urbanism as well as architectural criticism, and that both of these perspectives are important to Washington.

2019 Jury

  • S. Claire Conroy, daughter of Sarah Booth Conroy, author and long-time editor of Residential Architect magazine and editor of Residential Design magazine.
  • David Dudley, Executive Editor of CityLab. He is the former editor in chief of Urbanite magazine and a former features editor for AARP: The Magazine.
  • Meghan Drueding, Managing Editor of Preservation magazine for the National Trust of Historic Preservation.

The Sarah Booth Conroy Prize for Journalism and Architectural Criticism rewards reportorial or critical excellence in fostering a better public understanding of architecture and urbanism in Washington, DC. This prize is for professional journalists, and is funded by the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC). It seeks to raise DC’s status as a design city by rewarding journalists and critics who write about the design of DC’s urban environment.

Prize amount: $5,000

About Sarah Booth Conroy
Sarah Booth Conroy (1928 - 2009) wrote on architecture and city history for the Washington Post for more than 30 years. Mrs. Conroy was the first winner of the Glenn Brown Award, an award given by the Chapter and the Washington Architectural Foundation to an individual who has improved the quality of life in DC and raised awareness of architecture and its benefits to society.

Previous Winners

2018 - Lance Hosey, FAIA
Lance Hosey is an independent architecture critic and practicing designer. Since 2013 he has written a regular series on design for the Huffington Post, one of the top ten most-read websites. His essays on architecture have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Fast Company, Architectural Record, Metropolis, and other publications. He is the author of The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (Island Press, 2012), which was a finalist for 2014 Book of the Year in the National Urban Design Awards and won a 2013 New York Book Show award.
Selected works:
"Is Washington its own worst enemy for sustainable design?" Huffington Post
"The Space of Resistance" Huffington Post

2017 - Amanda Kolson Hurley
Amanda Kolson Hurley is a freelance journalist and former executive editor of Architect magazine. In recent years, she has written for The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The American Scholar, Curbed, and Wallpaper. In 2015, she began writing a column on design in DC called Concrete Details for the Washington City Paper.
Selected works:
"Why Painting the Union Station Metro Cheapens an Architectural MasterpieceWashington City Paper
"Grayed Expectations: What's With All the Gray Houses?Washington City Paper

2016 - Kriston Capps
Covering architecture and urbanism at CityLab, his work has appeared in the Atlantic, and has written for Washington City Paper for over 10 years. He was previously a senior editor at Architect magazine. His writing covers topics that include local design issues with long term implications on Washington, DC.
Selected works:
"Requiem for a Nightmare" CityLab
"Architect David Jameson knows D.C.'s buildings don't have to be ugly. Now he's trying to convince the rest of the world, too."  Washington City Paper