The Daily Plant : Friday, July 23, 2004
MUNICIPAL ART SOCIETY SALUTES WARRIE PRICE
Maybe Warrie Price’s fervor for public service comes from her days spent in the Lyndon B. Johnson White House. Or perhaps her dedication to help others comes from her time as an assistant cultural attaché. One thing is clear—Warrie has given decades of unmitigated energy to the public.
Warrie Price, president and founder of The Battery Conservancy, is the 2004 recipient of the Municipal Art Society Evangeline Blashfield Award. Presented on Tuesday, July 20, at the Bridgemarket Plaza, the award honors Warrie for carrying on the spirit and ideals of Evangeline Blashfield, a founding member of the Municipal Art Society and advocate of public art and civic amenities at the turn of the twentieth century.
Deputy Mayor for Administration Patricia E. Harris, last year’s recipient of the Evangeline Blashfield Award, presented Warrie with the honor and welcomed her as she took the spotlight. A native of San Antonio, Texas and mother of three, Warrie remarked with humor about the days of Evangeline Blashfield and the vendors that inhabited The Battery. "Oh how I yearn for Evangeline’s apples, oranges, and grapes, but our lot in life is that of sunglasses, knockoff handbags, and briefcases filled with watches," said Warrie. "But then again, we do have the majesty of New York Harbor to look upon, and we haven’t let these vendors deter us from seeking a great vision for the park."
Warrie has made a career of transforming waterfront parks into treasured landmarks. She has helped raise more than $4.1 million to rebuild The Battery’s 23 waterfront acres and worked to restore the Castle Clinton Monument. She presently holds the positions of director of New York State’s Harbor Park heritage area and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation administrator for Battery Park. As former chair of Manhattan’s Community Board 8, Warrie was influential in developing new waterfront access along the East River and worked to refurbish six parks along the Upper East Side. Her love for parklands and their waterfronts is further evidences by her former service on the Manhattan Borough President’s Waterfront Taskforce and her continued presence as a board member of both the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and Scenic Hudson.
"Improving a public space serves a higher order than just improving its own surroundings," said Warrie. "It is also about ennobling the public realm by making the city all the more beautiful, one project at a time."
As a special surprise to Warrie, Luci Baines Johnson was present to relish in her friend’s achievements and read a special letter written by her mother, Lady Bird Johnson. "After observing your generous involvement and commitment, I would agree that you truly have made a major contribution to the ennoblement of civic life in your adopted city," wrote the former First Lady. "I know Lyndon would be applauding more enthusiastically than anyone!"
Warrie began her career in government for the U.S. Foreign Service as assistant cultural attaché in Santiago, Chile and even lived in the White House for a period of time. She was later awarded a fellowship from the Kennedy School at Harvard University, where she received a Master of Public Administration in 1972. She came to New York City after being recruited to serve in the Bureau of the Budget.
Written by Melissa Kuhn
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"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
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