Douglas Durst


Notable New Yorkers 2006


Honoring environmentalist and developer
and the Durst family

On Monday evening, May 8, The Skyscraper Museum honored Douglas Durst and the Durst family with the 2006 Making New York History Award. Two hundred guests attended the cocktail reception at the Museum’s Battery Park City home, where the exhibition “GREEN TOWERS for New York” provided a vivid illustration of The Durst Organization’s visionary leadership in green building design and development. Durst projects highlighted in the show include the pioneering Condé Nast Building @ 4 Times Square, the Helena Apartments, 125 W. 31st Street, and the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park.

From Left to Right: Alexander Durst, Anita Durst, Douglas Durst, Robert Fox, Carol Willis, James Hedden, Bruce Fowle, and Hal Fetner.

Offering toasts to a smiling Douglas Durst were a series of speakers, including Congressman Jerry Nadler, New School President Bob Kerrey (in absentia), architect Bruce Fowle of FXFOWLE, developer Hal Fetner of Sidney Fetner Associates, daughter and son Anita Durst and Alexander Durst, architect Robert F. Fox of Cook + Fox, builder Daniel R. Tishman (in absentia), and James Hedden, EVP, Commercial Real Estate Banking at Bank of America.

Also in attendance were NYC Commissioners Patricia Lancaster, Shaun Donovan, and Robert Tierney, and Diana Taylor, NYS Superintendent of Banks.

In the spirit of the classic compendium of prominent professionals, Notable New Yorkers of 1896-1899, published by Moses King, The Skyscraper Museum established the Making New York History Award in 1999 to honor outstanding individuals who have shaped the city’s skyline in three dimensions or in our public perceptions. Past recipients have included Kenneth T. Jackson, Robert A.M. Stern, and John L. Tishman for their monumental achievements in historical writings and city building. The Making New York History Award 2006 pays tribute to the Dursts for visionary leadership in green building development and their enduring commitment to a sustainable city.

Alexander and Anita Durst toast their father, Douglas.

One of the most respected names in commercial real estate, the Durst family traces its business history back three generations to the 1910s, when Joseph Durst bought an office building on 34th Street. His sons, Seymour, Roy, and David, continued to build and expand the portfolio of properties, and today grandsons Douglas and Jonathan (Jody), who are cousins, serve as Co-Presidents of The Durst Organization. They are leading the industry in developing green towers, including the projects in the Museum’s exhibition: the Helena Apartments, 125 W. 31st Street, and the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park.

The history of high-performance high-rise design in the United States is less than a decade old and begins with The Durst Organization’s 48-story Condé Nast Building at 4 Times Square. Completed in 1999, America’s first green skyscraper was viewed by the industry as a visionary experiment and economic gamble. As others have followed their model of valuing energy efficiency, environmental responsibility, and healthful interiors, The Durst Organization has set its standards even higher with the state-of-the art design and technology of the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the first skyscraper to strive for Platinum LEED rating.

The Skyscraper Museum’s GREEN TOWERS FOR NEW YORK: From Visionary to Vernacular surveys a new generation of skyscrapers recently completed or under construction in New York City that have embraced sustainability and green building strategies as a central tenet of their design. Ranging from high-profile corporate headquarters to speculative office towers, and from “green” apartment blocks to mixed-use and institutional projects, these buildings represent a leading edge of energy efficiency and environmental responsibility for high-rise architecture in the U.S. today. In conjunction with the exhibition, an 8-lecture series, “GREEN TEAMS: How Sustainability Succeeds in Business,” highlighted the creative collaboration among clients, developers, architects, and engineers of high-performance buildings.



The Durst Organization
Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority
Bank of America
The Julien J. Studley Foundation
Tishman Construction Corporation
Otis Elevator Company and Carrier Corporation,
companies of United Technologies Corporation


Albanese Organization, Inc.
Ann L. Buttenwieser
ASCO Power Technologies
CB Richard Ellis
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
FXFOWLE Architects, P.C.
JDP Mechanical
The Litwin Foundation
The New School
Newmark Knight Frank
Rosenberg & Estis, P.C.
Sidney Fetner Associates
Zwicker Electric Co., Inc.


AKRF, Inc.
ASM Mechanical Systems
Building Technologies Group
Cook + Fox Architects
DeSimone Consulting Engineers, PLLC
Earth Day New York
Gary Barnett, Extell Development Company
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Jones Lang LaSalle
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Lutron Electronics
Mancini Duffy
Ogden CAP Properties, LLC
Phoenix Facilities Management
Real Estate Board of New York
Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP
RY Management Co., Inc.
Schindler Elevator Corporation
Severud Associates
Vollmer Associates LLP
Zuberry LLC


Brian Barthold & Drew Moss
Lawrence B. Benenson
The Brodsky Organization
Brenda Levin
Costas Kondylis & Partners LLP Architects
Eugene M. Grant & Company, LLC
GCI Environmental Advisory, Inc.
Gotham Construction Company, LLC
H.O. Penn Machinery Co.
Joseph B. Rosenblatt, Olmstead Properties
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Marcus Attorneys
Rael Automatic Sprinkler Company, Inc.
Regional Scaffolding & Hoisting Co., Inc
Structure Tone
vda—Van Deusen & Associates
W & W Glass, Inc.