Jordan Schnitzer and Arlene Schnitzer Named 2015 AFO Honored Citizens
Nov. 4, 2015

Architecture Foundation of Oregon (AFO) celebrates two Oregon natives, each of whom has contributed thoughtfully and generously to our designed and built environment. Representing two generations of an important Oregon family, the honorees—Arlene Schnitzer and her son, Jordan Schnitzer, President of Harsch Investment Properties—have separately and together supported art, design and development in ways that have created significant advances for those fields. From a tradition of commitment, a passion for community, and a strong sense of legacy, Arlene and Jordan are among Oregon’s best examples of successful transference of these values from one generation to the next for the benefit of the family, their particular community interests, and the greater good.

Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer became AFO’s 23rd Honored Citizens at a dinner in their honor, Tuesday, October 27, 2015. Nearly 800 people gathered at the Oregon Convention Center to pay tribute to this year's honorees. Fifteen year-old Bend violinist, John Fawcett, literally brought the entire room to their feet with his solo performance of Paganini's Caprice No. 24. John was sponsored by the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation at last April’s MetroArts Young Artists Debut Performance.

Much of the evening detailed some of the many contributions both Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer have made to Oregon’s designed and built environments, including the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, the Astoria Column, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Federal Reserve Building, Confluence, PNCA's Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, among many others. Honoree Jordan Schnitzer acknowledged dozens in the design community with whom he and his mother have worked on these and other projects. His final remarks were to challenge the design, construction and development communities to think about their own legacies, and to push the boundaries to create a designed environment of lasting value for generations to come.

To commemorate AFO's 2015 Honored Citizens, a special tree will be planted in the new tsubo-niwa garden, adjacent to the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center at the Portland Japanese Garden, one of the most beautiful and inspiring examples of Oregon’s designed environment, due in no small part to the contributions of Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer.

Emcee, Jeff Gianola, presented an eloquent, moving and entertaining look into the Schnitzers’ gifts to Oregon’s designed environment through his video, A Tradition of Giving – A Legacy of Caring.

View the photo album on the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation website.