Norfolk Public Library: Slover Memorial Main Branch, designed by Newman Architects.

Newman, of Newman Architects, has been a major figure in New Haven, helping the entire Ninth Square neighborhood become a vital part of the city. Perhaps more important, his design, his work as an educator, and his scores of awards over the past half-century make him a true hero of architecture’s possibilities. When I asked him about his career, his answer was as applicable to the moment as it was to him more than six decades ago:

“I questioned my career choice when I was new to the profession because I didn’t make the connection between my aspiration to make beautiful things and my parents’ view that I should do something to help people and make a better world. As I approach the end of my career, I recognize it is my love of human beings and human interchange which has guided my aesthetic urges.”