These men were concerned that the building and construction industry was disorganized. They left that meeting with the goal of creating an organization of owners, bankers, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, suppliers, and labor representatives.
In the words of Mr. Kohn: "We started out with the idea that the only hope for effective improvement in the industry was to render through cooperation of all of its elements some measure of service which the public had the right to demand of us."
Out of this meeting was born the New York Building Congress.
Throughout its history, the Building Congress has served as a common forum for issues that affect all segments of the building community. In forging the dedicated alliances to discuss and act upon the issues of the day, the Building Congress has drawn upon the talents of the best and the brightest in the industry.
From the depths of the Great Depression, periods of preparing for and enduring war, the building booms of the 1960s and late 1990s, and the senseless destruction of September 11, the Building Congress has focused its energies on the issues of the day while helping to keep the industry, government, and all New Yorkers focused on the future.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Building Congress is the constancy of its mission. The very principles upon which the Building Congress was founded are as relevant today as they were 96 years ago. Within the industry, it is looked upon as a place where all sectors can meet and find common ground. As such, the Building Congress is recognized as a major voice of the industry, and its advice on a range of issues is sought by public officials and agency leaders.
Since its founding, the Building Congress has served as a productive forum for those entrusted with building New York City. Over the years, the Building Congress has attracted such notable public officials as former President Gerald R. Ford; Senators Baker, D'Amato, Moynihan, Clinton, Schumer and Gillibrand; Mayors Wagner, Lindsay, Beame, Koch, Dinkins, Giuliani, and Bloomberg; and Governors Roosevelt, Carey, Rockefeller, Pataki, Spitzer, Corzine, Paterson and Cuomo. The business and labor community also has been well represented, including such luminaries as David Rockefeller, Harry Van Arsdale, Peter S. Kalikow, and Mortimer B. Zuckerman.
While its founders would not have recognized the term, "networking" has been another constant for the Building Congress throughout its existence. The Annual Golf and Tennis Outing, established in 1930, remains a tradition in which industry leaders, colleagues, and friends relax for a day of sun, fun, and recreation. Another traditional social event was the Fun & Frolic Show, first produced in December of 1938. While the show is no longer part of the Building Congress calendar, it has been replaced by two major annual events—the Anniversary Leadership Awards Luncheon and Industry Recognition Dinner— which, combined, attract more than 2,000 people each year and honor the industry's best and brightest.
The Building Congress remains an industry-directed organization. Its committees, task forces, and events are designed to galvanize an action agenda based on the involvement and interests of all sectors of the building community.
Thanks in large part to the women and men of the construction, design, and real estate professions, New York City has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 90 years. So too has the building community. This growth and the challenges it presents, combined with the modernization and globalization of the industry, serves only to intensify the need for a devoted and active congress of architects, engineers, skilled labor, contractors, real estate managers, and other professionals. The Building Congress remains committed to its role as a conduit for all sectors of the industry and looks forward to many successful and productive years ahead.
NEW YORK BUILDING CONGRESS
The following list identifies the industry leaders who have contributed their time and expertise to advance the goals of the New York Building Congress over the past 90 years. Their voluntary service, dedication to the industry, and commitment to the future of New York has helped the City achieve the prominence and prosperity it enjoys today.
|President||Stephen F. Voorhees - Engineer||1921-1925|
|President||R.H. Shreve - Architect||1925-1929|
|President||Robert D. Kohn - Architect||1929-1931|
|President||Harris H. Murdock - Architect||1931-1935|
|President||Thomas S. Holden - Economist||1935-1940|
|President||Max Foley - Engineer||1940-1942|
|President||J. Andrew Fouilhoux - Architect||1942-1945|
|President||Max Foley - Engineer||1945-1949|
|President||Louis Skidmore - Architect||1949-1952|
|President||C. George Dandrow - Owner||1952-1955|
|President||John F. Hennessy - Engineer||1955-1958|
|President||Bradford N. Clark - Engineer||1958-1962|
|President||Charles Haines - Architect||1962-1965|
|President||Robert W. Cutler - Architect||1965-1969|
|President||A. Wilson Knecht - Engineer||1969-1972|
|President||Michael M. Harris - Architect||1972-1976|
|President||John J. Collins - Owner||1976-1979|
|President||Charles Schaffner - Engineer||1979-1983|
|Chairman||George A. Fox - Heavy Construction||1983-1986|
|Chairman||Joseph H. Newman - Building Contractor||1986-1992|
|Chairman||John F. Hennessy III - Engineer||1992-1996|
|Chairman||John A. Cavanagh - Building Contractor||1996-2000|
|Chairman||Jeffrey M. Levy - Specialty Contractor||2000-2002|
|Chairman||Marilyn Jordan Taylor - Architect||2002-2004|
|Chairman||Frank J. Sciame - Building Contractor||2004-2006|
|Chairman||Dominick M. Servedio - Engineer||2006-2009|
|Chairman||Stuart E. Graham - Building Contractor||2009-2010|
|Chairman||Peter A. Marchetto - Building Contractor||2010-2012|
|Chairman||John M. Dionisio- Engineer||2012-2014|
|Chairman||Thomas Z. Scarangello- Engineer||2014-2016|
|Chairman||Richard Cavallaro - Building Contractor||2016-2018|
|Chairman||Milo Riverso - Engineer||2018 -|