The master plan for Portland’s historic South Park Blocks received an ORPA Planning Award in recognition of outstanding planning practices and processes. We are proud to have been a part of the complex planning process for this beloved downtown green space.
The South Park Blocks Master Plan develops a long-term concept for the park’s physical rehabilitation as well as a tree succession strategy to improve the resilience of the park’s iconic trees. The recommended design respects the park’s historic character while addressing accessibility and equity considerations throughout. On the MIG-led project, Mayer/Reed provided plaza planning and alignment for the Green Loop that weaves additional pedestrian and bicycle capacity along the park.
Mayer/Reed principal and owner, Kathy Fry, has been recognized as a Women of Vision Awards Honoree by the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC). The award honors women who are shaping the built environment in Oregon and Southwest Washington via technical skill, leadership, mentorship, community involvement and promotion of industry diversity. The DJC celebrated the honorees during an October 26th event at Portland’s Sentinel Hotel.
“It’s an honor to be recognized and inspired by the amazing women with whom I share this year’s award,” says Kathy. “These women are shaping the local AE community and creating opportunities for future generations.”
In her role as principal of Mayer/Reed’s visual communications group, Kathy is known for her strong leadership in design, business operations and mentoring. She has been recognized with design awards by the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Clients and design partners value her vision, collaborative approach and her ability to engage larger teams in project development. With a belief in an inclusive and collaborative design process, Kathy builds trust and empathy through thought provoking questions, leading with the “why” before the “what” and “how” of a design solution. She has pushed the studio’s approach to workshops and information gathering to consider inequalities relating to gender, identity, neurodiversity, privilege along with physical ability.
As the second-generation of women ownership, Kathy continues the firm’s legacy by providing opportunity for disadvantaged professionals. She spearheaded Mayer/Reed’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) program and led an internal process to review and restructure firm practices to recognize and reduce ingrained bias and establish policies that promote diversity. Along with this, she strives to provide an emotionally genuine and humble example as she makes space for ongoing learning and personal growth within the firm.
Kathy is dedicated to mentoring within the Mayer/Reed studio and with design partners, paying forward the guidance she received early in her career. Outside of the studio she has donated her time to academic mentoring, providing architecture and graphic design students opportunities for advice, critique and studio visits as they prepare for their careers.
Committed to advancing the profession, Kathy is deeply involved in SEGD, serving on the Board of Directors Executive Committee as both vice president and her current role as president.
The American Public Works Association (APWA) Oregon Chapter selected the “Better Naito Forever” project for their 2022 Project of the Year Award in the category of Transportation less than $5 Million. The APWA presented the award on October 20th at their Oregon Chapter Fall Conference in Pendleton.
What started as “Better Naito” – a grassroots, temporary effort to improve Naito Parkway with more space for walking, rolling and riding to Portland’s summer festivals – has grown into a signature multimodal corridor for downtown Portland. Known as “Better Naito Forever,” the project features a permanent cycle track, complete sidewalk, safe and efficient traffic signals and incorporation of the mature Tom McCall Waterfront Park tree canopy. It provides people with an enjoyable active transportation route to move through downtown.
Mayer/Reed’s Grant High School Modernization received an Honor Award in the general design category at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Oregon 2022 Design Awards soirée on October 7th. Landscape architects and students from around Oregon gathered for the first time in two years to celebrate outstanding works of landscape architecture and environmental planning in our state.
The modernization of Grant High School’s building, led by Mahlum Architects, coupled with our site design work on the 10.2-acre campus, demonstrates how bold spatial solutions can create community, overcome social disadvantage, achieve sustainability and enable equal access to learning environments. Beyond the physical modernization of an aging historic landmark building, our team achieved goals set by Portland Public Schools for engagement, equity and inclusion in the community-based planning and design process.
Jurors appreciated the close working relationship of landscape and architecture in creating new physical, ecological and social connections that replace the former maze of unsafe, inaccessible and unused outdoor spaces. One juror noted: “…A clear collaborative effort between the architect and landscape architect where the courtyards highlight the landscape architect’s contribution, nicely developed spaces for students to thrive. Visual clarity on the site is a great improvement to the campus.”
We at Mayer/Reed, along with the entire Grant High School team, are honored to have been a part of improving this significant community asset that has set up a legacy for future generations to enjoy.