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The Burchfield Penney Art Center will honor the late architect Charles Gwathmey with a posthumous award named after its namesake, the watercolor painter Charles E. Burchfield, the center announced this week. The award will be presented Wednesday.

Gwathmey’s design for the $36 million Elmwood Avenue institution was one of the last museum commissions before his death in 2009.

The award, according to Burchfield Penney Director Anthony Bannon, was established to honor Burchfield’s artistic legacy and to highlight the achievements of artists and others working to promote environmental sustainability. The Burchfield Penney is one of the most environmentally conscious buildings in Buffalo and received a coveted “silver” certification from U.S. Green Building Council after it was completed.

“Inasmuch as this building is our grounding, we must look to Charles Gwathmey, the lead architect, for posthumous recognition,” Bannon said in a statement. “The international world of architecture recognizes his achievement in designing this building.”

Gwathmey’s longtime partner, Robert Siegel, will be on hand to accept the award at a fundraising dinner in the Burchfield Penney on Wednesday. He will also deliver a lecture the previous evening in the museum’s auditorium that chronicles his work with Gwathmey and their achievements over their prolific and highly acclaimed career.

In addition to the Burchfield Penney, Gwathmey’s firm designed the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts in Amherst. For more information on Wednesday’s event, call 878-3739 or visit burchfieldpenney.org.

email: cdabkowski@buffnews.com