NEW YORK—Kevork Karajerjian, the reputable architect of Encino was honored on May 12 with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his lifelong architectural achievements and community services. After completing his primary education at Guiliguian Elementary School, and his secondary education at Aleppo College, he attended the American University of Beirut and graduated in 1958 with a degree in Architectural Engineering.
Fresh out of school Karajerjian was involved in the design of the “Shell Building”, the first high-rise to be constructed on the Mediterranean coast in Beirut.
In 1963 His Holiness Khoren I. Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia commissioned Mr. Karajerjian to prepare a master plan for the renovation of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon. As a result of his hard work, the magnificent Catholicosate of today became a reality. Henceforth, he was awarded the honorary title of National Architect by His Holiness Catholicos Khoren I. and later was granted the PONTIFICAL Encyclical Of Blessing by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
Other landmark structures by Karajerjian include:
- Near East School of Theology “NEST” an award winning architectural landmark which was one of the first buildings with fair faced concrete “beton brut” facades constructed in Lebanon
- Haigazian College, Rue Du Mexique, Beirut, Lebanon
- Tarouhie Hagopian School for Girls, Hazmieh, Lebanon
- Armenian Educational Foundation-Sofia Hagopian College, Bourj-Hamoud, Lebanon
- Public Parks at Bourj Abi Haidar, Medawar and Remeil Districts in Beirut, Lebanon
- “HABEAS” Public Housing Project (HLM) in Fanar, Lebanon. Under the auspices of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia and financed by Karageuzian Foundation of New York
- Asdvadzadzin (St. Mary’s) Cathedral, a monumental structure with a soaring dome in classical Armenian style in Aleppo, Syria
- Centers for the Armenian Handicapped in Lebanon “CAHL” and Tutunjian Home for the Elderly rmenian Prelacy of Lebanon in Beirut
- Modernization of Emerson Elementary School in Burbank, California
Karajerjian had an active role in rebuilding Los Angeles after the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake, which was recognized with a Commendation by City of Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn. His company is actively involved in School Rehabs and Residential Sound Proofing Programs and numerous commercial and residential projects in the Cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Burbank. His company has participated in the Redevelopment of the City of Inglewood and was commended as one of the three best finalists for Century Corridor Development Project near the LAX Airport.
Karajerjian has always been active in community matters being on the board of directors of numerous cultural, architectural, educational and social organizations. For his lifelong professional and community services he was awarded the Pontifical Encyclical by His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of all Armenians in the Holy See of Etchmiadzin and was awarded the Gold Medal Of Knight Of Cilicia with a Pontifical Encyclical by Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
He was also recognized with Commendation from President George Bush who wrote to Karajerjian: “Outstanding accomplishments are achieved through dedication, integrity, and skill. I appreciate all those who live by the principles of excellence. Your efforts contribute to the success of our Nation and reflect the true spirit of America.” He also received Commendation from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) presented Karajerjian the President’s Citation Award for exemplifying distinguished architectural service to the community with highest standards of architecture.
Karajerjian was also awarded with the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Karajerjian, a family oriented person with strong dedication to preserving Armenian values and traditions, is married to Sato Yerevanian, a renowned artist and a certified interior designer. The Karajerjians have raised three children. Their oldest son, Ara is a civil Engineer honors graduate, with master degree in engineering management from USC, and is currently the CEO of Karabuild Development, Inc. Their daughter, Maral, a celebrity stylist, is married to Viken Krajian, founder and chief officer of Krajian Importing Corporation of Glendale, CA, and has a son Arlen who is a second year student at USC School of Business. Apo, their youngest son graduated from CalState Northridge majoring in Anthropology and Zoology and is working toward his master’s degree in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University.