A Princely Sum Given to Victims of Katrina

Times Staff Writer

Prince Charles, who plans to visit New Orleans today, said he would donate to hurricane relief efforts the $25,000 he received Thursday as winner of the Vincent Scully Prize for architecture.

The National Building Museum presented the award to the prince for his role in designing and building an environmentally friendly model community in Britain.

The heir to the British throne also was praised for his criticism of modern architecture, which began 21 years ago when he decried a proposed addition to London’s National Gallery in Trafalgar Square as “a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend.”


At Thursday’s ceremony, architect Elizabeth PlaterZyberk called Charles’ jab at the Trafalgar Square project “the shot heard round the world.”

Bemoaning the “uglification” of much modern development and the lack of emphasis on land-use planning in schools, Charles said that well-designed urban construction “could be part of the solution to poverty.”

Charles said that he and his wife, Camilla, had been “absolutely horrified” by the hurricane devastation that they witnessed on television. He said that one of his 16 charities -- the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment -- was already working to help plan projects in nine towns on the Gulf Coast. The goal, he said, would be to restore balance and beauty to the environment as well as to create a design that would withstand storm surges and flooding.

On their trip to New Orleans, Charles said, he and Camilla will meet with first responders and “pay tribute to the astonishing efforts of the emergency workers. I only hope that my foundation can play a small part in the work that is now underway to begin reconstruction.”

In addition to their attendance at the architecture event Thursday, the royal couple participated in an osteoporosis program at the National Institutes of Health and a seminar on religious tolerance at Georgetown University.

At Georgetown, more than 1,000 students turned out to greet the couple, with many yelling “Prince Charles,” and one woman asking about his 23-year-old son, “Where’s William?”

Times wire services contributed to this report.