Margaux Charlier's AIA award, pardon me while I brag...

Margaux Meursault Charlier, 14, was awarded the American Institute of Architects WNY Chapter's Friends of Architecture award at a ceremony held Thursday, November 15 at the 20th Century Club in downtown Buffalo.

Past recipients of this award include former State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, philanthropist and Roycroft preservationist Kitty Turgeon, preservationist and architectural tour leader Tim Tielman, and watercolorist Dr. V. Roger Lalli. This year, in addition to Margaux, the award was also given to Chuck LaChiusa of the website, Buffalo as an Architectural Museum.

Her introduction was made by architect Kelley Culp-Burton AIA, LEED AP, of KCB Architecture, who had nominated her (Thank you Kelley!).
Margaux and Mattel's 2011 Architect Barbie.

Here was her nomination/introduction/and writeup in the program:

This year we couldn't help ourselves and ended up awarding TWO Friends of Architecture Awards! Our second awardee is Margaux Charlier.

Margaux is a charismatic 14 year old whose interest in architecture was ignited at the age of seven when she attended the Parkside Community Association’s Summer Arts Day Camp at Delaware Park, where the theme for the season was “Architecture.”

By the time she was nine, Margaux was creating her own glass bead jewelry, selling it at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market through the Buffalo State Small Business Development Center’s KidBiz Market, and at craft fairs throughout the year – with a very generous 50 percent of her profits donated to the Martin House Restoration Corporation.

Margaux’s dedication to the Martin House continued with her volunteering on the Interior Beautification team. Margaux’s knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for the house did not go unnoticed. She became its youngest tour chaperone. She also plans to volunteer for the Martin House’s Architecture Day Camp in the summer of 2013.

Future architect? Jewelry designer? Working with kids? Social worker?
Power executive? Flight attendant? Model? All of the above?
Margaux’s other endeavors include her service as a youth advisor to Mattel's Architect Barbie project. When work started with Mattel on the design for the doll, Margaux was asked to provide input because she represented the demographic to which the doll was targeted and also because of her appreciation and awareness of architecture. She offered good advice and insight, and kept the conversations confidential. The project was only known to a very privileged few until its unveiling, and Margaux was a true partner in keeping it under the radar.

Margaux is a ninth grader at Olmsted High School. She is also a Girl Scout, and this past summer was a Pioneer Camper at Cradle Beach Camp and a day camp counselor at the Parkside Community Association’s Summer Arts Day Camp at Delaware Park.

Margaux's dad has commented, "Margaux delights in pointing out to me the differences between verandas, pergolas and porte-cochères. Even if she doesn't become an architect, she has a healthy appreciation for architecture and will always be a supporter of the arts."

This community needs more people like Margaux Charier and we are proud to recognize her efforts by awarding her our Friends of Architecture Award.

At the ceremony, many service awards were given in different categories. Each winner gave a short acceptance speech and Margaux slam dunked hers without reading from her notes. A thank you to Miss Chamberlain at Olmsted Kensington High School for helping her with writing her acceptance speech. Her mom also worked on it with her and also did what only moms can do in the hair, makeup, and wardrobe department. Both Margaux and her mom looked like a million bucks.

Margaux's friends and family stood to give her a standing ovation (of course) but when the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning Dean Robert Shibley also stood in ovation, I thought I might loose it. I didn't. I was cool. He was very gracious and congratulated and complimented her afterwards.

A thank you to Mary Roberts, Director of the Martin House Complex for letting us shoot these photos of Margaux on the porch of the Martin House in front of the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright-designed planters. Thank you to KC and Gail Kratt for taking these wonderful photos. And to godfather Greg Meadows -- for taking photos at the event and just being there and being supportive.

And to thank you to friends and architects Kelly Hayes McAlonie, Roxanne Button Kujawa, Carol Siracuse, Melissa Smith Delmonte, Kelly Culp Burton, and Joy Grefrath Kuebler for being role models. It wasn't until just a couple of years ago that Margaux realized that boys could be architects too. And to writer Nancy Cardillo (in whose kitchen Margaux took her first steps) for proofing the write-up above. Oh, and especially Martin House Complex Beautification Team leader, the always positive and ever-inspiring Ginny Williams. It takes a binder of women to raise a daughter!

Buffalo's Business First has an insert in this week's issue featuring each service winner, which this year includes Dean Robert Shibley, FAIA; Buffalo Public Schools Project Architect Paul McDonnell, AIA; Chuck LaChuisa; the Hive City Team (designers of the bee hive structure in Silo City); Scheid Architectural, PLLC; and City of Buffalo Urban Planner Chris Hawley. Margaux was in stellar company!

Another past recipient of this award, in the group category, was Garden Walk Buffalo, in which I accepted the award on behalf of the gardeners of Garden Walk Buffalo -- thus qualifying this totally indulgent brag-fest by a proud dad -- as a garden-related blog post.

Margaux and Barbie, just chillin'.


  1. Congratulations to both (all) of you. What a great role model Margaux is, even for us big kids.

  2. Amazing but not surprising. Congratulations Margaux!

  3. She's got a better resume than most adults!!!

  4. Hooray for Margaux.. What a wonderful accomplishment!! So proud we all are!!

  5. Love it! Joe & I were so happy to be there last night and celebrate Margaux's award.

  6. You and Leslie must be so very proud. What a great and beautiful girl. You all are blessed. Aunt Doris & Uncle Ray. Jim, if I ever need a write up, I'll call you!!!

  7. Congratulations Margaux! I wish I could have been there to see you win your award and give your acceptance speech. I'm a proud Godmother. You are very accomplished for such a young lady.

  8. Words can't express how impressed I am with Margaux. What a lovely and talented young Lady ( notice the capital "L") Jim, she's wonderful - not need to "pardon" your well deserved bragging.

  9. Wonderful! And thanks for sharing - bragging at its best. Congrats. Susan

  10. Thank you all for the kind words. She makes for a good kid, in part, for the wonderful people she comes into contact with, many having left comments here!

  11. What an amazing young woman! Smart, talented, a hard worker, beautiful — and she's only just begun.

  12. Bravo !!! how proud you must be ! félicitations.

  13. That is just wonderful. She is a lovely young woman and I do believe I own one of her bead creations. Congratulations Dad. You should be so proud.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts