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Madison Architect Thomas Hirsch Receives Profession's Top Honor: Thomas E. Hirsch, FAIA
2014 AIA Wisconsin "Golden Award"

Madison (April 22, 2014) — . Architect Thomas E. Hirsch, FAIA, Madison, has been selected to receive the  2014 "Golden Award" from AIA Wisconsin, the state society of the American Institute of Architects  (AIA).  The Golden Award is the highest honor the state architects' society can bestow upon a member architect.

Tom Hirsch is being recognized for his distinguished record of service, spanning over 30 years, in advancing the profession of architecture and advocating for community revitalization, affordable housing, energy efficiency and accessibility.  He has embraced many important leadership roles for AIA Wisconsin while demonstrating an ongoing commitment to community service and improving people’s lives through architecture.  Hirsch is admired by and continues to inspire his peers across Wisconsin because of his ability to bring diverse groups together to address emerging issues.

The Golden Award will be formally presented to Hirsch during a special awards program on May 7 at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison.  The event is being held in conjunction with the 2014 AIA Wisconsin Convention & Expo.  The first Golden Award was conferred by the Wisconsin Society of Architects in 1986.  Hirsch is the twenty-seventh Wisconsin architect to receive the award.

"Leading by example, Tom Hirsch is the consummate champion for community involvement and public service," said AIA Wisconsin President Jody Andres, AIA, Neenah.  "Throughout his career, he has been a strong and effective advocate for architects and our profession.  He continues to contribute in profound ways to improve the quality of life in our communities.” 

“Being selected to receive the Golden Award means a great deal to me,” commented Hirsch.  “This award helps to elevate the important role that architects have in shaping our society and the way democracy works."  Hirsch believes that "leadership is about caring for others and working with others to tackle big issues in many small ways."

Hirsch’s current architectural practice focuses on affordable housing through the preservation and revitalization of existing housing, with an emphasis on energy management, functional design and durable materials.  Prior to establishing his own firm, Hirsch Group, LLC, in 2004, he served as a state specialist on floodplain management, community housing and accessibility issues as well as an architect with private companies engaged in the development of affordable and energy-efficient housing.  He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology, receiving a Bachelor of Architecture in 1968.

In 1998, Hirsch served as the president of AIA Southwest Wisconsin, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects in the Madison area.  In 2007, working with neighborhood residents, city planners and other architects, he was instrumental in the chapter’s successful community service initiative that helped bring together a struggling neighborhood to plan for its future and create improved affordable housing.  As the 2011 president of AIA Wisconsin, Hirsch effectively coordinated the celebration of the state society’s 100th anniversary.  He also was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2011 in recognition of his significant contributions in making the profession of ever-increasing service to society. 

Hirsch served on the City of Madison Housing Committee for nearly a decade, including five years as its chair.  Working with citizens, housing developers and elected officials, he effectively used his professional problem-solving skills as an architect to build consensus in support of a local ordinance to provide an economic mix of housing in new developments.  In 2009, Hirsch was appointed to the state advisory code council responsible for developing recommendations related to accessibility requirements for commercial buildings.  Earlier this year, he was appointed to serve on the national AIA Codes and Standards Committee.

With over 1,300 members, AIA Wisconsin represents architects in private practice, business, industry, government and education.  Founded in 1911, it is the state society of the American Institute of Architects.



Media Contacts

William Babcock, Hon. AIA (608) 257-8477
Thomas Hirsch, FAIA (608) 332-7797



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