William Menking (1947-2020)

Photo courtesy Architects Newspaper


The passing of Bill Menking represents the loss of one of our most important voices in the architecture world of publishing and criticism. Bill was interested in all facets of design, and regarded design competitions as an instrument to push the design envelope. My initial encounter with Bill occurred in the early years of the new Millennium, when he became interested in running competitions as a competition adviser. His most important venture into this field—and what turned out to be a somewhat frustrating one—was as the adviser for the Waterfront Gateway Design Competition in New Rochelle, New York. Although the results of the competition were impressive, local politics saw to it that the winner was discarded in favor of a rather commonplace scheme from an outside architect. Still, Bill and I remained in contact, and I was fortunately enough to visit with him on a sunny day in New York at one of his favorite restaurants. He remained a fan of COMPETITIONS, and we discussed the future of this subject over the last few years of his life. 


When AN arrived at our office, it was treated as no other publication that came through our door: it was read from start to finish before we turned to the matters of the day. Bill’s standard for the writing we so enjoyed is no doubt his legacy—one we anticipate will continue under the direction of his wife, Diana Darling.

Memorial for Bill Menking

Join Diana Darling, Architect’s Newspaper and Pratt Institute School of Architecture on Monday, May 4th at 6:30 PM (EST) for an (online) Memorial to celebrate the life and Legacy of WIlliam Menking.

The Memorial will be live-streamed via Facebook LIVE on Pratt School of Architecture’s Facebook page.

Remarks by:
Barry Bergdoll, Jennifer Bolstad, Frances Bronet, Anita Cooney, Dennis Crompton, Diana Darling, Murray Fraser, Nancy Goldring, Thomas Hanrahan, Harriet Harriss, Julie Iovine, Robert Ivy, Joe Kerr, Anthony Lucaccini, Walter Meyer, Kyong Park, Dagmar Richter, Rob Rogers, Joel Sanders, Ken Saylor, Michael Webb, Claire Weisz, James Wines