YWCA 1 of 5 Finalists for the 2017 James B. Recchie Design Award

When I think about the YWCA project, I think of the poem by Marianne Williamson titled, “Our Deepest Fear”.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

A woman who was truly powerful beyond all measure, was Mary Griswold, who, in 1929 funded the project that allowed the YWCA to call downtown Columbus its home.

As designers and architects, we are able to understand the implications of space, however, we rarely understand what it means to not have space, let alone, a space to call home. The YWCA project provides 91 women with not only a place to call home, but they provide a community to build these women up and help them accomplish their dreams. Through innovative space planning, this project provides opportunities for women to gain hands-on experience to not only boost their confidence, but reassure them in their abilities.

Although we faced many challenges throughout the construction of this project, those challenges do not even begin to parallel with the challenges the residents of this project may face on a daily basis. However, the YWCA strives to empower these women to break down barriers they may face along their path to success.

On behalf of Berardi and the YWCA, I would like to thank everyone that contributed to this project’s success and a special thank you to the Columbus Landmark Foundation and selection committee for nominating this project and allowing us to present this evening.

May we all continue to be powerful and seek to empower the women in our communities. Thank you.