New York architect Margaret Helfand, founder of Helfand Architecture, died on June 20 at the age of 59. After working in the 1970s for
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
and Marcel Breuer Associates, among other firms, Helfand opened her own practice in 1981 and created an independent, award-winning firm with a portfolio spanning commercial, institutional, and residential projects. She was the author of several books on architecture and design and was a contributing author to a number of industry publications. From 1999 to 2003, Helfand was instrumental in creating the Center for Architecture at LaGuardia Place in Manhattan, a forum for architects, activists, city officials, and others involved in the built environment. In 2001, she served as the president of the American Institute of Architects' New York chapter. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Helfand took the position of co-chair of New York New Visions, a coalition of 21 national and local architecture, planning, and design groups whose goal is to develop infrastructure, planning, and design recommendations for the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. In 2002 she received a Rome Prize fellowship.