The Chicago-based Graham Foundation is the largest private architectural foundation in the United States. Since its 1956 founding, it has provided grants to many now iconic projects and publications, such as Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York, published in 1978, and more recently, the Studio Museum in Harlem’s 2007 exhibition, David Adjaye: Making Public Buildings. But in recent months, the nonprofit has felt the effects of the recession, particularly the ailing stock market.
“We are supported 100 percent by our endowment. We do no outside fundraising,” explains Sarah Herda, the foundation’s executive director. “Because of the economic condition, we have seen a reduction in the value of our endowment by about 23 percent.” The situation could be worse, she adds, “but it’s still quite a blow.”