September 8, 2021
by Center for Architecture
The brand identity for Common Bond 2021, featuring interlacing white letters against a black background.

The Center for Architecture is preparing to celebrate Common Bond: The Center for Architecture Gala on Thursday, October 28, 2021. Formerly known as the Heritage Ball, Common Bond serves as the Center for Architecture’s single largest funding source, allowing the organization and its partner, AIA New York, to fulfill their mission to educate the public about the value of architecture and design. Besides offering a unique opportunity for professional networking, the event provides critical funding for the exhibitions, programs, scholarships and activities of the Center for Architecture, including our popular K-12 education programs. Consider supporting the event by purchasing a sponsorship, ticket, or ad by October 14.

This year, Common Bond will be returning to Chelsea Piers, providing an opportunity for our supporters to connect and celebrate our honorees in person. In order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff, capacity for this event will be reduced by 50%. Opportunities for virtual participation are also available.

We are delighted to introduce you to this year’s honorees, all of whom have worked tirelessly to transform New York City into a better, more equitable city.


Gale A. Brewer

Manhattan Borough President

A full-color headshot of Gale Brewer.

Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President. Photo: Courtesy of Gale Brewer.

Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Borough President of Manhattan. Since taking office in 2014, she has passed legislation to reform the deed restriction process, add caregivers to the city’s anti-discrimination law, remove criminal history questions from initial employment applications, and enforce requirements for street numbers on buildings in Manhattan to aid emergency workers. She has also spearheaded community planning initiatives to address development and zoning issues.

In 2018, Brewer served as Chair of the Large Cities Council of the National League of Cities. She was later named a member of their 2019 Human Development federal advocacy committee.

Brewer previously served on the New York City Council for 12 years, where  she was the founding chair of the Technology Committee and also led the Government Operations Committee. The Council passed her legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices.

Prior to that, she served as Chief of Staff to Council Member Ruth Messinger, as NYC Deputy Public Advocate, as Director of the City’s Federal Office, and as Executive Director of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women.


David M. Childs, FAIA

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

A black and white headshot of David Childs.

David Childs, FAIA, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Photo: Greg Betz.

David M. Childs, FAIA, is Chairman Emeritus of the global architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). A graduate of Yale College and the Yale School of Architecture, he joined the Washington, DC office of SOM in 1971, after serving as Design Director of the President’s Commission on Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1984, he relocated to SOM’s New York office, where he became the office’s Senior Design Partner.

Childs has served as Chairman of both the National Capital Planning Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, both presidential appointments. In addition, he has served on the boards of the American Academy in Rome (Chair), the Municipal Art Society (Chair), the National Building Museum (Chair), the Museum of Modern Art, and the Architectural League. Childs’s projects in Washington include the 1976 Washington Mall master plan and Constitution Gardens; headquarters buildings for the National Geographic and the U.S. News and World Report; the Four Seasons, Regent, and Park Hyatt hotels; and the expansion of the Dulles Airport main terminal. In New York, a sampling of his diverse range of completed projects includes Worldwide Plaza; the JFK International Arrivals Building; Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle; 35 Hudson Yards, a 1,000-foot, mixed-used tower; and One World Trade Center.


Sabrina Kanner

Brookfield Properties

A full-color headshot of Sabrina Kanner.

Sabrina Kanner, Brookfield Properties. Photo: Courtesy of Brookfield Properties.

Sabrina Kanner is the Executive Vice President of Development, Design and Construction for Brookfield Properties and responsible for overseeing development in the Northeast U.S.

Kanner joined the construction division of Olympia & York, the predecessor of Brookfield Properties, in 1982. In her tenure with the company, she has played a key role in the construction, design and development or redevelopment of over 40 million square feet of signature Brookfield projects such as the World Financial Center and the restoration of its Winter Garden after 9/11, Brookfield Place, 300 Madison Avenue, Halley Rise, and Manhattan West.

Kanner holds a Bachelor of Arts from Union College and is a member of WX and the National Academy of Construction. She also sits on the board of directors of the New York Building Congress (Vice Chair), the Salvadori Center (Chair), the Regional Plan Association, Urban Green Council (Secretary), the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, Cedar Realty Trust, and the Opus Group.


Peggy Shepard

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

A full-color headshot of Peggy Shepard.

Peggy Shepard, WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Photo: Allie Holloway.

Peggy Shepard is Co-founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and has a long history of organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally. She has successfully combined grassroots organizing, environmental advocacy, and environmental health community-based participatory research to become a national leader in advancing environmental policy and the perspective of environmental justice in urban communities—to ensure that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment extends to all.

Shepard has been named co-chair of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and was the first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Black Environmental Justice Network and the Board of Advisors of the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. Her work has received broad recognition, including the Jane Jacobs Medal from the Rockefeller Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment, the William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Leadership, the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and Honorary Doctorates from Smith College and Lawrence University.