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Aspen Meadows Reception Center to be renamed after Walter Isaacson

Staff report

The renovated Aspen Meadows Reception Center will be renamed after the Aspen Institute’s outgoing president and CEO, Walter Isaacson, the think tank announced this week.

“In recognition of the transformative leadership of Walter Isaacson, the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees has voted to rename the Aspen Meadows Reception Center as the Walter Isaacson Center,” said James S. Crown, the Institute’s board chairman, in a statement. “This naming will be a reminder of Walter’s incredible accomplishments over the past 14 years. He leaves a legacy of values-based leadership and extraordinary growth in the eminence and impact of the Institute.”

The building is located on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus. In a few weeks, it will undergo an extensive remodel that will include the construction of a glass-enclosed pavilion.

The addition of a new glass-enclosed pavilion will connect with the existing Aspen Meadows Restaurant and will expand the restaurant space, provide an all-weather venue for events, and will accommodate as much as 100 additional guests for events and other convenings. An outdoor deck will be added on the west side of the existing Meadows Restaurant.

The center was designed in 1955 by renowned Bauhaus artist and architect Herbert Bayer and local Aspen architect Fritz Benedict. As part of the renovation, Jeffrey Berkus Architects will incorporate a modern-design aesthetic while preserving the building’s historic elements.

The center’s renaming was made possible by gifts from Leonard Lauder, the Crown family, Institute trustees and friends of the Aspen Institute. A dedication of the Walter Isaacson Center will take place next summer.

Isaacson joined the Institute in 2003. He is leaving his position as the Institute’s president and CEO later this year. In January, the author and historian will join the faculty at Tulane University in his hometown of New Orleans. He also has a biography on Leonardo da Vinci due out in October, while the National Geographic series “Genius” is based on his book “Einstein: His Life and Universe.”

The Institute has yet to name a new CEO and president.


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