The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for September was a modest 51.4 (any score over 50 indicates an increase in billings). The billings index has been positive for 22 out of the past 24 months. The index of inquiries for new projects was 67.7, the highest level since December 1995 (68.7).

Moody/Nolan, among the nation's largest black-owned and -operated architecture and engineering firms in the country, has opened an office in Kansas City, Mo. The .firm, whose headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio, also has offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Nashville, Tenn.

Partners in Preservation, a joint effort by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the World Monuments Fund, has announced the 13 awardees that will share in its $1 million San Francisco Bay initiative: Angel Island Immigration Station; in San Francisco: Fallon Building, Haas Lilienthal House, Japanese YWCA Building, and Spreckels Temple of Music; in Oakland: Cleveland Cascade Park and Fox Oakland Theater; in Berkeley: First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Tilden Park Carousel; in New Almaden: Casa Grande; in Richmond: Richmond Municipal Natatorium; in Tomales: Tomales Town Hall; and in Pascadero: Pigeon Point Lighthouse Station.

Popular Science has named Peter Eisenman one of its 2006 Innovators of the Year for the stadium he designed for the Arizona Cardinals, citing its sliding grass field, retractable roof, and fan-friendly design. “Because I'm an architect and a football fan,” Eisenman told the magazine, “I didn't want the architecture to get in the way of the football.”

For the past six years, Washington, D.C.'s Hickok Cole Architects has been partnering with the Washington Project for the Arts\Corcoran (WPA\C) to hold Art Night, a private event at the firm's offices that showcases the work of local artists. This year's Art Night, held Oct. 26, was attended by a record 730 guests and generated more than $30,000 in artwork sales. All proceeds from sales are shared by the artists and the WPA\C. The event has raised more than $140,000 over the years.

Furniture maker Dennis Miller Associates will be launching the Morris Lapidus Collection in January 2007. Lapidus, who died in 2001, is best known for designing over-the-top Miami Modernist hotels such as the Fountainebleu and the Eden Roc. This will be the first time his furniture designs have been made available to the public.

On Oct. 23, Alan Altshuler announced that he will be stepping down as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Altshuler was appointed acting dean in July 2004 and assumed deanship in February 2005. He will continue to serve as dean until the end of the current academic year, after which he plans on a year's sabbatical from academia.

Coroflot (, a career and community site for creative professionals, runs an online design salary survey every year. For 2006, architects were included for the first time. The results: 256 respondents (186 of whom were self-labeled as in-house/corporate); average salary: $49,356.

One sign that the sustainability/ green movement continues to gain momentum: The New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2006 is “carbon neutral.”