Los Angeles architect Thom Mayne has been awarded the Pritzker Prize, the highest honor in the field of architecture. Gothamist guesses that the awesome design for the Caltrans District 7 building in downtown L.A. tipped it in his favor this year (here's a profile of the building, see some work in progress photos here), but he's had a very storied career. As for Mayne's NYC projects, with his firm Morphosis, Mayne has designed the new building at Cooper Union (above) and submitted a proposal for an Olympic Village for NYC's 2012 Olympic bid (below. Here's the NY Times story about his win, the first by an American in 14 years (Robert Venturi in 1991).

The Pritzker Prize is given by the Hyatt Foundation, the hotel chain that the Pritzker family owns. And Gothamist has been curious about the status of the lawsuit Liesel Pritzker (aka Liesel Matthews, in the enchanting Alfonso Cuaron version of The Little Princess) brought against her cousins, claiming she and her brother were "looted" out of $1 billion. The Chicago Reader had this great story about the coverage of the lawsuit. And the Pritzker Prize will be awarded in Chicago's Millennium Park; remember, don't take pictures of the bean.