A celebration of the lives and contributions of the design and preservation leaders, patrons and advocates who died between January and December, 2013.
Atlanta architect and civil leader Cecil Alexander, 95, died July 30, 2013, of natural causes. A principal many years with the architecture firm FABRAP, his projects included the Coca-Cola world headquarters, the former Bellsouth tower, and Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. A pilot during WWII, Alexander studied under Walter Gropius at Harvard University before settling in his hometown of Atlanta. Over the years he chaired the Citizens Advisory Committee for Urban Renewal in the late 1950s, ran the Atlanta Housing Resources Committee under Mayor Ivan Allen, and was vice-chair of the Atlanta Region Metropolitan Planning Commission under Governor Jimmy Carter. He marched in Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral procession, and co-chaired John Lewis’ first campaign for congress.
Ruth Asawa, 87, an artist and sculptor whose works became mainstays in San Francisco civic areas, died of natural causes August 6, 2013. The one-time student of Buckminster Fuller, John Cage and Josef Albers produced intricate wire sculptures akin to woven baskets, included in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco houses 15 of her works. She designed numerous public fountains around San Francisco, including Ghirardelli Square, and became known there as “the fountain lady.”
John Barry, a British landscape architect best known for the large-scale landscape projects that he implemented for Merseyside County Council, died in September, 2013. He had been a team leader for the Environmental Quality Division at the County Council in Merseyside, and he leveraged the government’s Manpower Services Commission (MSC) employment program to employ hundreds and transform the abandoned, St. Helen’s Canal in Sankey Valley.
Gabriele Basilico, an Italian architect who became a leading urban landscape photographer, 69, died February 13, 2013, of cancer. He documented Monaco, Moscow, San Francisco, France, Beirut, and many other European cities and seaports. Shooting mostly black and white with classic film cameras, Basilico participated in over 50 solo shows during his lifetime and received the Osella d’Oro award at the 1996 Venice Biennale.
Les Dennis Beilinson, 66, a Miami Beach, Florida, native who practiced architecture there and was instrumental in the preservation of South Beach historic deco structures, died June 14, 2013, of complications from abdominal surgery. He was an original member of the Historic Preservation Board in Miami Beach and he was responsible for the restoration of many South Beach landmarks, as well as the design of the News Café and Armani Exchange store in the area. He co-founded Beilinson Gomez architects with Jose Gomez in 1997.
William Ames Bennett, 92, an architect who practiced in Palm Beach, Florida, for many years, died September 4, 2013, after a brief illness. He opened his practice in 1953 and is best known for the residences he designed with builder Robert Gottfried, described as “Gottfried Regency” or “Palm Beach Regency” style. He also served on the Palm Beach Building Board of Adjustments and Appeals from its inception in 1960 until his death.
Fred Bosselman, 79, a long time land-use attorney, author, teacher, and former president of the American Planning Association, died August 4, 2013, of prostate cancer. He was the author of 10 books including “The Quiet Revolution in Land Use Control,” as well as the first casebook on energy law. He had been a founder of the law firm Burke Bosselman and Weaver, and joined the IIT Chicago- Kent Law Faculty in 1991 specializing in energy and environmental law.
Henrik Bull, 84, a modernist San Francisco architect, died December 3, 2013, following an illness. He opened his practice in 1956 when commissioned to design several ski cabins; his later projects included Tahoe Tavern Condominiums, the Visitor’s Center at Point Reyes National Seashore, the Northstar Resort in Truckee and the Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach. He was a founder of Bull Stockwell Allen/BSA Architects.
Robert Burke, 78, a longtime preservationist, planner and architect in Washington State, died May 20, 2013, of complications following surgery. He is credited with several high profile preservation projects in Kirkland, Washington, including Heritage Hall. He had been director of planning for Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson (NBBJ) before serving 17 years as president with McConnell/Burke, Inc.
Pittsburgh area architect Lucian Caste, 88, died July 24, 2013, of complications from a brain hemorrhage. His projects around the Pittsburgh area included St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church and School; the John M. Conroy School for Exceptional Children; the Mercy Hospital Ambulatory Center, and Christ United Methodist Church. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (then Carnegie Institute of Technology), he was active on many boards of the institution.
Grady Clay, former editor of Landscape Architecture magazine, 96, died March 17, 2013, of an inoperable blood clot. Though not a landscape architect, he is credited with advancing the profession through his passion for the environment and his encouragement of professionals to expand the scope of their influence. He was honored by the profession many times for his work, including the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Olmstead Medal in 1999.
Famed golf course architect Lloyd M. Clifton Sr., 89, died December 10, 2013. A horticulturalist by training, Florida native Clifton was designing golf courses by the late 1960s. His many courses included West Orange Country Club, Indigo Lakes, Plantation Bay, Sweetwater Oaks, Pelican Bay South, Deer Run, Hunter’s Creek, Orange Blossom Hills, and extensive work at The Villages. He was a founding member of the CEC Design Group with offices in DeLand and Wildwood, Florida.
British interior designer David Collins, 58, died July 17, 2013, from an aggressive skin cancer. He founded David Collins Studio in 1985. A favorite of stars like Madonna, Collins was best known for his London restaurant and bar interiors including The Wolseley, Claridge’s Bar, Nobu Berkeley, and The Connaught’s Bar. He had in recent years gravitated toward luxury retail interiors for Bergdorf, Jimmy Choo and others.
Karen Cooper, 54, president of Cooper, Robertson & Partners of New York, died August 22, 2013, of cancer. The firm was ranked among the Architectural Record magazine list of the Top 300 architecture firms. She joined the firm at its inception in 1979 and was named president in 2008. Though not an architect, she was recognized as a gifted business developer and strategist.
Natalie de Blois, 92, a pioneering female architect who rose to the rank of associate partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, died July 22, 2013, from cancer. Described as the firm’s “hidden hand,” she worked at the SOM office in New York on marquee projects like the headquarters of Lever Brothers, Pepsi-Cola and Union Carbide before relocating to the firm’s Chicago office. Her work there included the Terrace Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul, and the Equitable Building in Chicago. She was a founding member of Chicago Women in Architecture, and later taught at the University of Houston in Texas.
Roy DeBoer, 80, credited as “New Jersey’s leading landscape architecture educator,” died March 17, 2014. He taught for more than fifty years at Rutgers University and founded its Landscape Architecture program. DeBoer received many honors for excellence in teaching, including professor of the year at Rutgers/Cook College four times; the National Council of Landscape Architecture Educators Award; Excellence in Teaching from the National Association of Land Grant Colleges; and the Jot Carpenter Excellence in Teaching from the National ASLA.
Robert E. DesLauriers, 89, a San Diego-based architect known as “Mr. Church” for his many religious projects, died November 5, 2013. He opened his own practice in 1958 and during his career completed 67 religious projects, 150 residential projects, 187 Navy projects, 18 public schools, and more. His contemporary/modern design for the Carlton Hills Lutheran Church in Santee, CA and its “Hyperbolic Paraboloid” roof received an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects and still stands today.
Niels Diffrient, 84, a leader in ergonomic design, died on June 8, 2013, of cancer. He was a Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate and served as an assistant to Eero Saarinen before spending many years with the industrial design firm of Henry Dreyfuss, working on projects ranging from American Airlines plane interiors to the design of the Princess Phone. He was a co-author of the 3-volume “Humanscale” series of manuals on how to design for people of all sizes and abilities, and established his own consultancy in the 1980s, specializing in ergonomic office chairs produced by Knoll, among others. He received many honors during his career, including the 2002 National Design Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt.
Graham Downes, a well-known hospitality designer, 56, died April 21, 2013, from injuries sustained in an assault outside his home. A native of South Africa and accomplished rugby player, Downes founded Graham Downes Architecture Inc. in San Diego in 1994 with a focus on modernist hospitality and retail design. His projects included several Hard Rock hotels and Tower23 Hotel in San Diego.
Alvin Eisenman, 92, named the first director of Yale University’s graduate program for graphic design in 1951, died September 3, 2013. Yale’s program was the first of its kind in the country, and Eisenman emphasized a holistic approach, including the instruction of art and photography to students. He resigned as director in 1990, though he continued to teach.
Eric Engstrom, 70, a graphic and interior designer and former president of the IIDA, died July 15, 2013, of cancer. He gained early fame as a designer of iconic rock posters, particularly for The Who, before founding EDG Interior Architecture + Design in California with business partner Jennifer Johanson in 1987. EDG focused on hospitality and restaurant projects internationally. He was president of the IIDA in 2005/2006, and retired from the firm in 2007 to photograph and travel.
New Orleans architect Allen Eskew, 65, died December 10, 2013, two days before the AIA announced his firm, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple, had won its 2014 Architecture Firm Award—the highest honor the Institute can bestow upon a firm. Eskew’s high-profile projects in New Orleans ranged from acting as design director of the 1984 World’s Fair to playing a critical role in the rebuilding of the city following Hurricane Katrina, to the Audubon Institute’s Aquarium of the Americas, the Shaw Center for the Arts, renovation of the Superdome, Downtown New Orleans’ Champions Square, the award-winning Reinventing the Crescent Master Plan and its first phase, Crescent Park, among others.
Sam Farber, 88, creator of OXO utensils and housewares, died June 16, 2013, of complications following a fall. The OXO line, winner of numerous design awards, started with a potato peeler that was comfortable to use, and has grown to hundreds of easy-to-grip items featuring the line’s signature fat black Santoprene handles. Farber had previously founded the Copco cookware line in 1960, selling it in 1982. OXO products were introduced in 1990.
Jerome “Jerry” Faszer Jr., 60, a Sacramento architect, died of brain cancer on October 12, 2013. He brought a new look to area suburbs, with contemporary designs, open floor plans and stylish streetscapes, unlike the ubiquitous ranch and Spanish style homes in the area. He continued to draw by hand, and was lauded for his unique approach to both residential and commercial office design.
Clyde W. Forrest Jr., 78, a longtime professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, died June 18, 2013. H had been active many years in the American Planning Association and was a Fellow of AICP.
Yukio Futagawa, acclaimed Japanese architectural photographer, 80, died of cancer on March 5, 2013. Trained as an architect, Futagawa began photographing traditional vernacular Japanese buildings and homes (minka), publishing his first book in 1957. He would later found Global Architecture magazine and publish numerous books and monographs via the Edita Tokyo Company, which he also founded.
David George, 90 a Dallas-area architect and former Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, died October 7, 2013. He was a Taliesin fellow in the late 1940s and worked with Wright until his death in 1959. During his career he designed many residences in Dallas and regionally in a style that combined modernism with a Texas vernacular style. When the Dallas chapter of the AIA selected 50 significant homes in Dallas, David George had worked on three of them.
Texas architect, Preston Geren Jr., 89, a member of Texas A & M’s “first family of architecture,” died June 12, 2013. His grandfather, Frederick E. Giesecke, established the first formal architectural program at the school—then the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas—in 1905. Geren’s father and uncle also earned architecture degrees from the school. Geren Jr. was a member of the Texas A & M class of 1945. He joined his father’s firm, Preston M. Geren Architects & Engineers, following military service during WWII. The firm worked with Louis Kahn on the Kimbell Art Museum as well as hundreds of educational projects, hospitals, churches, banks and office buildings.
Francis Golding, 69, a former secretary of the Royal Fine Art Commission, died November 7, 2013, from injuries sustained in a bicycling accident. As secretary, he led the Commission in its role as government’s adviser on architecture, design and urban space in England. After leaving civil service, Golding became one of Britain’s leading architecture, planning and preservation consultants with a client list that included Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Rafael Viñoly, Jean Nouvel and Michael Hopkins.
Jerome L. Goldman, 89, a leader in naval architecture and offshore rig design, died September 5, 2013. Based in New Orleans, he joined with V.H. Friede to create Friede and Goldman Ltd. in 1946, now a worldwide leader in ship and offshore rig design. Goldman invented the All-Hatch concept, now a worldwide standard for ships. He designed the Lighter Aboard Ship (LAH) and pioneered techniques for port efficiency. In New Orleans he designed the Chevron Building and the luxury One River Place condominium development.
Jeffrey Gutcheon, 72, a trained architect who gained fame as a piano player and quilting expert, died June 23, 2013, following a long struggle with Lewy body dementia. After receiving a B. Arch from MIT, Gutcheon went on to perform with, among others, Gladys Knight, Willie Nelson, Steve Goodman, Ringo Starr, Great Speckled Bird, and Geoff and Maria Muldaur. As an expert on the American art quilt movement, he designed and distributed innovative fabric patterns for two decades through his company, Gutcheon Patchworks.
Sally Harkness, 98, co-founder of The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in 1945 with six other young architects and Walter Gropius, died May 22, 2013, of complications from a stroke. Jean Fletcher (1915-1965) was the other female founder of the firm. Harkness’ best-known project is Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where she was a principal designer for the Olin Arts Center and designed the Ladd Library. Both Harkness and Fletcher attended Smith College and then The Cambridge School, founded the firm with their husbands, and raised children while practicing; Harkness had seven.
Sanford Hirshen, 78, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of architecture, died October 2, 2013, of congestive heart failure. He began teaching at UC Berkeley in 1966 and became a professor of architecture in 1974, eventually becoming chair of the Department of Architecture in the College of Environmental Design. Hirshen founded a practice with Sim Van Der Ryn, Ron Gammill, Jack Trumbo and Dennison Cook focused on socially responsible architecture including schools, community and health facilities, and shelter for migrant workers, the elderly and low-income families (active from 1965 – 1974). He moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1990 where he was Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture.
Don M. Hisaka, an architect who left an internment camp to graduate from and later teach at Harvard University, 85, died February 20, 2013, of natural causes. He practiced in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1960 to 1985, until he relocated to Cambridge to teach at Harvard full time. In 1992 he left to teach at the University of California Berkeley, where he studied as an undergraduate. His best known building is the Bartholomew County Jail in Columbus, Indiana (1990), a city known for its works by architectural masters.
John Hopkins, 59, the British landscape architect responsible for London’s Olympic Park, died January 21, 2013. He transformed 250 acres of industrial waste into the city’s largest new urban park in over a century, described as the most biodiverse Olympic campus ever conceived. He ran the London office of the landscape architecture firm LDA before joining the Olympic Delivery Authority in 2007. Most recently Hopkins had been a visiting fellow and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Hough, 84, a British-born landscape architect who worked and taught many years in Canada, died in January, 2013. He studied with Ian McHarg before immigrating to Toronto in 1959 where he spent the rest of his life. Hough founded the University of Toronto’s School of Landscape Architecture in 1965 and later joined York University’s new Faculty of Environmental Studies. He also practiced continually; his projects included landscape design at Ontario Place with architect Eberhard Zeidler, winner of a 1975 CSA award.
Chris L. Hunsinger, 57, a long-time Kentucky planning director, died February 21, 2013. He served as director of planning and zoning for Hardin County, Kentucky, for 32 years, and was a member of the APA.
Ada Louise Huxtable, esteemed architecture critic, 91, died January 7, 2013, of cancer. She was the first architecture writer to receive the first Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism and assumed the role of architecture critic at The New York Timesin 1963, a position that was created for her. She is credited with introducing conversation about architecture, design and preservation into the public discourse, and was instrumental in the founding of the New York Landmarks Commission. She joined the staff of The Wall Street Journal in 1997.
Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, 91, granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, died September 15, 2013, of congestive heart failure. She studied architecture with Mies van der Rohe at the Armour Institute (now Illinois Institute of Technology) and at UC Berkeley, and had been a practicing architect for 65 years, with her former husband as Ingraham & Ingraham Architects, and then as Elizabeth Wright Ingraham and Associates, both in Colorado. In 1970 she founded the Wright-Ingraham Institute for the study of land use and environmental issues. She was widely honored for her work on environmental and women’s issues as well as for her work as a designer.
Philip Isaacson, 89, famed Maine art critic, died June 20, 2013, of a stroke. He was a practicing commercial lawyer who critiqued visual art exhibitions for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram for almost 50 years, and had been chairman of the Maine Arts Commission. An avid outdoorsman and photographer, his work is included in the permanent collection at the Portland Museum of Art.
Shaun Jackson, designer and multidisciplinary professor at The University of Michigan, 63, died January 15, 2013, from injuries sustained in a single engine airplane crash. He held faculty appointments at the university in art and design, architecture, and business. The owner of more than 50 patents, his firm Shaun Jackson Design Inc. served Dell, Apple, Toshiba, Patagonia and Herman Miller, among others.
Jerome L. Kaufman, 79, an educator and leader in food systems planning, died January 10, 2013, following a lengthy battle with cancer. He taught urban planning for 30 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was active in many Madison projects and civic organizations. A one-time student of Lewis Mumford, Kaufman served as president of Growing Power, a Milwaukee-based grassroots organization credited as the nation’s preeminent urban agriculture organization. Fellowships and scholarships exist in his name at Wisconsin and at SUNY-Buffalo.
Acclaimed Washington state modernist architect Henry Klein, 92, died March 5, 2013. A native of Germany, he worked several years in the Portland, Oregon office of Pietro Belluschi before founding his own firm, Henry Klein & Associates, in Mount Vernon, Washington. His projects included a downtown library in 1956, featured in Architectural Record; the Skagit County Administration Building (1977); the Nash and Mathes residential halls (1967) at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham; and the Performing Arts Center also at WWU.
Vincent Kling, 97, a Philadelphia-area architect who had the largest practice in the state of Pennsylvania in the 1970s, died November 23, 2013. Following work with SOM in New York, Kling opened his own firm in Philadelphia in 1946, which later merged to become Kling-Lundquist, and then KlingStubbins, recently acquired by the Johnson Group. His numerous projects in the area included Penn Center, Love Park and the Bell Atlantic Tower (now Three Logan Square). With planner Ed Bacon he helped change the face of modern Philadelphia.
Balthazar Korab, architect and photographer, 86, died January 15, 2013, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Along with his more famous contemporaries Ezra Stoller and Julius Schulman, Hungarian-born Korab documented the great buildings of mid-century modernism beginning with work as in-house photographer at Eero Saarinen’s firm during the 1950s. He later joined Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, and was the author of multiple volumes on the architect’s work, as well as many other subjects.
Ross Langdon, 33, a prize-winning architect and TED speaker, died September 21, 2013, with his pregnant partner Elif Yavuz in an attack by militants on a Nairobi shopping mall that left more than 65 people dead. Raised in Australia, Langdon founded the firm Regional Associates Ltd. in London in 2008, and had relocated to Africa to work on projects there. He spoke at TEDxKrakow in 2012, and is remembered as an architect committed to improving people’s lives.
Influential Danish architect and educator Henning Larsen, 87, died June 22, 2013. He founded his firm in Copenhagen in 1959; today Henning Larsen Architects is a leading international practice. Winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1989, Larsen and his firm completed a number of significant projects across the world, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia, a master plan for a new financial district in Riyadh, the Copenhagen Opera House, Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik, and many others. He had been a professor of architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture from 1968 until 1995.
Barbara G. Laurie, formerly an associate professor of architecture at Howard University, from which she graduated in 1985, died February 7, 2013, at age 41. She had practiced at Devrouax & Purnell Architects in Washington DC before founding DP+ Partners where she was managing principal. A mentor to many, she had also been president of the Washington Architectural Foundation.
Peter B. Lewis, 80, chairman of Progressive Insurance Company and patron of architecture, died November 23, 2013, of a heart attack. He was a long time supporter of Frank Gehry and the two spent more than a decade concepting a house that had a one-time budget of over $80 million and was never built. The fees generated from that collaboration, however, allowed Gehry’s firm to become a leader in digital architecture. Gehry later designed the Peter B. Lewis building at Case Western Reserve University.
Howard Liddell, a Scottish architect and early advocate of sustainable design, 67, died February 23, 2013, of cancer. He eschewed “eco-bling” like wind turbines and solar cells, and instead designed buildings, including some of glueless timber, which relied on passive heating and cooling from natural ventilation and solar gain. He was a co-founder of the Gaia Group in Edinburgh and was awarded an OBE in 2013.
Georgia Livingston, 72, a prominent British landscape architect, died in October, 2013, from cancer. She won a competition, with Ted Cullinan, for a new visitor centre at Stonehenge, and also completed the Cambridge University Centre for Mathematical Sciences with him. Livingston designed a number of visitor centers for the National Trust in Britain, including the center above the White Cliffs of Dover.
Phillippos J. Loukissas, a native of Greece and former chair of planning and regional development at the University of Thessaly there, died February 19, 2013, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. An architect, Loukissas came to the U.S. in 1978 to pursue graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He then received a PhD in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. He held positions with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and taught at Penn State and Rice universities.
Rick Mather, an American architect who established a prominent firm in London, 75, died April 20, 2013, from a heart attack. After relocating from Oregon to study at the Architectural Association in London, Mather formed Rick Mather Architects there in 1973 and was renowned for his expansion of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, a 1999 extension of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, a recent addition to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the US, and a master plan for London’s Southbank.
Bruce McCarty, 92, designer of many Knoxville, Tennessee landmarks, died January 5, 2013. An unrepentant modernist, he was master architect for the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, and he was responsible for many buildings on the University of Tennessee campus. McCarty was instrumental in establishing the UT College of Architecture in 1965. He also formed his first firm that year with Robert Holsaple, today called McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects, led by his son Doug. Other notable projects include the Knoxville City County Building, and the TVA Towers in downtown Knoxville.
Earl Nisbet, 86, an author, architect, and former Taliesin Fellow, died February 20, 2013, of cancer. He was the author of “Taliesin Reflections: My Years Before, During, and After Living with Frank Lloyd Wright,” and he practiced in Hawaii and California. Nisbet’s work was donated to UC Berkeley’s Environmental Design archive where it is available online.
Milton Pate Sr., 82, an architect of commercial and hospitality projects, died August 7, 2013, of heart failure. He established Milton Pate Architects Inc. outside Atlanta in 1966, and went on to design Delta Air Lines’ multi-building campus next to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as well as resort properties for Ritz-Carlton, among others.
Anca Petrescu, 64, the architect of the world’s largest civilian administrative building, now the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania, died October 13, 2013, of injuries sustained in a car accident. The “People’s Palace” (later described as a “monstrous monument to totalitarian kitsch”) was the brainchild of then Romanian President Nicolai Ceauşescu. Thousands were conscripted to aid in the building’s round-the-clock construction, a project that required leveling nearly four square miles of the city and displacing 40,000 people. Following Ceauşescu’s execution in 1989, the building sat unfinished, until 1994 when work resumed repurposing the building as a house for parliament. It occupies seven times the cubic volume of the Palace of Versailles. Anca Petrescu had worked for the state design institute before her design for the Palace was selected for construction.
Jonathan Pettit, 61, a managing principal of DLR Group in Seattle, died August 19, 2013, of cancer. He joined the firm’s Seattle office in 1977, working on multi-family housing projects, and as a people-focused leader, was instrumental in the integration of John Graham & Associates into the practice in 1986. Pettit is credited with developing the firm’s retail and workplace practice nationally and led the firm’s Practice Forum for several years.
Derek Phillips, 90, a pioneer of lighting design, died November 5, 2013. Trained as an architect in England, he started a post-graduate research program at MIT on artificial lighting. Following work with a lighting manufacturer, he established his own lighting consultancy—Derek Phillips Associates—in 1958, now DPA Lighting Consultants. Phillips was the author of four books and contributed to many high-profile projects worldwide.
Walter Pierce, an architect, 93, died February 27, 2013, of a heart attack. He practiced in partnership with Danforth Compton and then the firm of Peirce Pierce & Kramer in Massachusetts and is best known for Peacock Farm, a 45-acre development of mid-century homes in suburban Boston, now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Designer Andrée Putman, 87, died January 19, 2013, at home in Paris. Although she studied music and composition, Putman had a keen eye, and following work with design magazines, she began her career reissuing early pieces of modernist furniture, then transitioned into interior design noted for simple lines and high style with a lack of ostentation. Her first major commission came in the early 1980s when hotelier Ian Schraeger selected her for the interior design of the Morgans Hotel in New York. Her catalog of work would go on to include additional hotels, retail stores, product design, and more.
G.W. Terry Rankine, a founding partner of Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A), 86, died March 3, 2013, following heart surgery several weeks prior. A native of Scotland, Rankine was one of seven who left The Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, MA to form C7A, endeavoring to form a truly interdisciplinary firm involving urban design, architecture, film, interior design, graphic design and planning. In addition to leading many notable projects during his 30 years at the firm, he was very active in the AIA and taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Henry Hope Reed, an architectural historian and staunch classicist, 97, died May 1, 2013, of natural causes. He began leading walking tours of New York for the Municipal Art Society in 1956, wrote fervently anti-modernist articles and books, was a one-time curator of Central Park, and founded Classical America (later absorbed into the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art). He also secured the archives of McKim, Mead & White, George B. Post and Cass Gilbert for the New York Historical Society.
Rex Scouten, the White House curator for art and furniture acquisitions from 1986 to 1997, died February 20, 2013. He began his career as a Secret Service agent at the White House, serving in that capacity from 1949 to 1960. He transitioned into the role of Chief Usher at the White House, running the household staff of hundreds, from 1969 to 1986. During his fifty-year career, he served ten presidents and their families.
Jonathan Seymour, 94, a landscape architect who created iconic South Florida spaces, died January 29, 2013, of congestive heart failure. He lived in Miami from 1948 to 1992, and did extensive work in Coral Gables in the early 1950s, including improvements to its Miracle Mile streetscape and design of the Alhambra Circle entrance. He completed many naturalistic, unsymmetrical gardens and pools for high-profile clients and was the subject of a 1984 Miami Herald feature.
Jason Sheftell, 46, the real estate reporter for the New York Daily News, died unexpectedly June 17, 2013. He joined the paper in 2007 and was remembered as an energetic and original voice, whether writing about gentrification, modular construction, or the Louis Kahn-designed Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island.
Gabe Silverman, 73, a developer and arts patron, died November 10, 2013, from cardiac arrest. He studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley then relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, in the 1970s. With business partner Allan Cadgene, he worked on successfully redeveloping San Francisco’s Mission District. In Virginia, he is credited with helping transform downtown Charlottesville into a thriving arts and entertainment area and supporting numerous arts and community agencies there.
Paolo Soleri, architect of experimental Arizona development Arcosanti, 93, died April 9, 2013, of natural causes. Once an apprentice at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, the Italian Soleri established Arcosanti 70 miles north of Phoenix in 1970. Designed to be largely carless with vertical structures in dense clusters, the development was designed to accommodate 5,000 people though not more than 100 or so, mostly apprentices, ever lived there. The architect himself estimated before his death that the project was perhaps 5% complete. He is credited, however, with pioneering concepts related to ecological design that are seeing implementation only now.
RIBA Royal Gold Medalist Colin Stansfield Smith, 80, died June 18, 2013, after suffering a massive stroke. He had been Hampshire County Architect in England and gained fame for growing his office into a national leader in school planning and design. He left the office in 1992 and taught at Portsmouth University School of Architecture in the UK.
Douglas Stebbins, 54, a theater architect, died November 4, 2013, of complications from liver disease. He worked on projects around the world, first for Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates and then Fisher Dachs Associates, an expert in technical theater interiors, including The New Victory and New Amsterdam Theaters in Times Square, renovations to Lincoln Center, Ford’s Theater, and the Apollo Theater, and many other facilities in the U.S. and abroad.
James van Sweden, 78, a landscape architect whose firm is credited with pioneering the New American Garden style, died September 20, 2013, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He founded the firm Oehme, van Sweden & Associates in Washington, DC in 1977, emphasizing large naturalistic planting as a cure for the bland manicured lawn. Projects included Oprah Winfrey’s home, the national World War II Memorial on the Mall, and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Park overlooking the Hudson River in lower Manhattan.
Architect Clorindo Testa, 89, a pioneer of the Brutalist movement in Argentina, died April 11, 2013. His many iconic concrete buildings include Argentina’s National Library, construction of which started in 1962 and was not complete until 30 years later, because of the country’s many financial crises, and the Bank of London headquarters in 1966, considered one of the boldest international modern buildings of the decade. Testa graduated from the architecture department at the University of Buenos Aires and was greatly influenced by Le Corbusier.
Hailed as “the best album designer in the world,” Storm Thorgerson, 69, died April 18, 2013, of cancer. With one-time flat mate Aubrey Powell, Thorgerson formed the design firm Hipgnosis in 1967. They designed many album covers for Pink Floyd, including “Dark Side of the Moon, “perhaps the most recognized LP art in history, as well as for Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath, and newer artists like The Cranberries and Muse. Thorgerson wrote several books on designing album covers, and has been the subject of books by others.
Danforth W. Toan, a founder of Warner Burns Toan & Lunde (now WBTL Architects) in New York, 94, died January 16, 2013. The firm specialized in educational facilities and libraries, and Toan transformed campuses with his progressive designs. His many projects included Columbia University’s Hammer Health Sciences Center, Brown University’s John D. Rockefeller Library and Science Tower, and Cornell University’s Olin Library, among others. His 1973 Roberts Library for the University of Toronto held over one million volumes when it opened.
Nohad Toulan, 81, founder and dean of Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs, died October 28, 2013, in a traffic accident in Uruguay that also killed his wife, Dirce Angelina Moroni Toulan. An author, architect, planner and Fulbright Scholar, Toulan had been the first planning director of the Greater Cairo Region in his native Egypt before settling in Portland in 1972. PSU’s School of Urban Studies and Planning was renamed for him in 2005.
Detroit architect, Harold Varner, 78, a designer of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History there, died December 14, 2013, after a long illness. He was a principal in the firm Sims Varner & Associates, and made frequent visits to Africa with his family. Many features of the 125,000 square foot museum were influenced by places he visited there. Varner’s work on the continent led him to be named honorary consul to Cote D’Ivoire.
Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, an architect who changed the face of Mexico City, 94, died April 16, 2013, of pneumonia. Influenced by European modernism and native Latin American cultures, Vazquez worked mostly in concrete. He is responsible for many of the city’s preeminent projects from the 1950s to the 1970s including the Basilica of Guadalupe, the National Museum of Anthropology, and Azteca Stadium. Additionally he designed pavilions for three World’s Fairs (1958, 1962 and 1964) and was chairman of the Mexican Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1968 summer games, marred by the murder of student protesters by soldiers days before opening ceremonies.
Educator and author Nancy Volkman, 64, died September 10, 2013, after a long illness. She had been an associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University, joining the faculty in 1981. She was the author of 22 peer-reviewed publications, including the book “Landscapes in History: Design & Planning in the Eastern & Western Traditions,” with Phillip N. Pregill.
Charles “Chuck” Woods, 80, a prominent Minnesota landscape architect, died September 14, 2013, of complications from lung disease. He studied at Harvard under Hideo Sasaki and founded Charles Wood & Associates in Minneapolis in the early 1960s. Woods was also an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota in the early 1970s with former architecture dean, Ralph Rapson. He worked with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1976, and with Leonard Parker Associates in the 1990s on the Minneapolis Convention Center and the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile. While practicing, he enjoyed a dual career as a farmer, committed to sustainability in both of his professional endeavors.
Planner and author Charles “Charley” Del Wunder, 62, died following illness on April 20, 2013. He had been AICP commissioner from 1992-94, and held a master’s degree in city planning from Iowa State University. He had traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.