Ron Throupe, PhD, MAI, Kay Zhang, and Xue Mao are the winners of the 2015 Armstrong/Kahn  Award  for  their  article,  “What’s So Special about Special-Purpose Property?” published in the Summer 2015 issue of The Appraisal Journal.

The Armstrong/Kahn Award is presented by The Appraisal Journal’s Editorial Board for the most outstanding original article published in The Appraisal Journal during the previous year. Articles are judged on the basis of pertinence to appraisal prac- tice; contribution to the valuation literature; provocative thought; thought-provoking presentation of concepts and practical problems; and logical analysis, perceptive reasoning, and clarity of presentation.

In “What’s So Special about Special-Purpose Property?” Throupe, Zhang, and Mao clarify what constitutes a special- purpose property. The concept of a special-purpose property is often confused with the concept of a special use or limited-market property. In practice, special-purpose, special use, and limited- market properties are not necessarily interchangeable. The authors outline a process to identify special-purpose property for valuation by focusing on the property itself, not the use or user.

To read the award-winning article, go to


The Appraisal Journal’s Armstrong/Kahn Award is part of a long tradition of article awards.

The Robert H. Armstrong Award was first presented in 1963. It was named for Robert H. Armstrong, MAI, who served as Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of The Appraisal Journal from 1945-1955. (1) The award was given each year for the best original article published in The Appraisal Journal.

Sanders A. Kahn, PhD, SREA, served as Chair of The Real Estate Appraiser & Analyst (TREA) subcommittee in 1980-1981 and 1984-1985. In 1984, he established an annual manuscript prize to honor the author who developed the best example of thought-provoking presentation on concepts and practical problems facing the appraisal and real estate industries. This manuscript competition was underwritten by the Society of Real Estate Appraisers (SREA) Foundation (later renamed the Society of Real Estate Appraisers Education Trust).

The Appraisal Journal carried on this TREA tradition when it began presenting the Sanders A. Kahn Award in 1993 for articles offering a thought-provoking look at practical problems. In 1997, the Armstrong Award and the Kahn Award were combined to become the Armstrong/Kahn Award. The Appraisal Institute Education Trust funds the monetary prize for the Armstrong/Kahn award. The following lists recipients of these distinguished awards.

(1.) See also L. W. Ellwood’s article “Memories of ‘Bob’ Armstrong” in this issue of The Appraisal Journal.
Read this original publication and award recipients here