The institute's highest honor, the Gold Medal, was awarded posthumously to modernist architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, who died in 2004. Thus, he stood on a par with Thomas Jefferson, Ero Saarinen, Richard Neutra and Samuel Mockby - American architects who did not live to see the confirmation of their outstanding contribution to architecture by their compatriots.
Edward Larrabi Barnes (1915-2004) graduated from Harvard University, where he studied with Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Its architectural style was a reworked version of the European Modern movement. In doing so, Barnes experimented extensively with proportions and materials, creating a national version of modernism.
Among its buildings are the IBM headquarters in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (old building), the Museum of Art in Dallas.
The AIA has named new structures by American architects that have received the Institute's Honor Award. Among them are the Peter Eisenman Memorial to the Destroyed Jews of Europe in Berlin, the Steven Hall School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, the Tom Maine School of Science Center in Los Angeles, the Biomedical Laboratory Building of the University of Michigan at Ann Airbor James Polshek and others.