Early lifeBunshaft was born in Buffalo, New York, to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, and attended Lafayette High School (Buffalo), Lafayette High School. He received both his undergraduate (1933) and his master's (1935) degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied in Europe on a Rotch Traveling Scholarship from 1935 to 1937.
CareerAfter his traveling scholarship, Bunshaft worked briefly for Edward Durell Stone and industrial designer Raymond Loewy before joining SOM. Bunshaft's early influences included Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. In the 1950s, Bunshaft was hired by the United States Department of State, State Department's Office of Foreign Building Operations as a collaborator on the design for several U.S. consulates in Germany. Bunshaft's only single-family residence was the 2300 square foot (210 m²) Bunshaft Residence, Travertine House, built for his own family. On his death he left the house to MoMA, which sold it to Martha Stewart in 1995. Her extensive remodelling stalled amid an acrimonious planning dispute with a neighbour. In 2005, she sold the house to textile magnate Donald Maharam, who described the house as "decrepit and largely beyond repair" and demolished it.
Awards and honorsBunshaft was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters and was the recipient of numerous other honors and awards. He received the Brunner Prize of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1955, and its gold medal in 1984. He also received the American Institute of Architects Twenty-five Year Award for Lever House, in 1980, and the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 1988. In 1958, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full member in 1959. From 1963 to 1972, he was a member of the Commission of Fine Arts in Washington. Upon receiving the Pritzker Prize in 1988, for which he nominated himself, he gave the shortest speech of any winner in the award's history, stating:
In 1928, I entered the MIT School of Architecture and started my architectural trip. Today, 60 years later, I've been given the Pritzker Architecture Prize for which I thank the Pritzker family and the distinguished members of the selection committee for honoring me with this prestigious award. It is the capstone of my life in architecture. That's it.Bunshaft was a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. He also received the Medal of Honor of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
LegacyBunshaft's personal papers are held by th
Buildings* 1942 – National Museum of the American Sailor#History, Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Hostess House – Great Lakes, Illinois * 1951 – – New York City, New York, New York * 1952 – Manhattan House – New York City, New York, New York * 1953 – Manufacturers Trust Company Building – New York City, New York, New York * 1956 – Ford World Headquarters – Dearborn, Michigan, with Natalie de Blois * 1956 – Consular Agency of the United States, Bremen – Bremen, Germany * 1957 – Connecticut General Life Insurance Company Headquarters – Bloomfield, Connecticut * 1955 – Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus, Istanbul Hilton – Istanbul, Turkey * 1958 – Reynolds Metals Company International Headquarters – Richmond, Virginia * 1961 – 28 Liberty Street – New York City, New York, New York * 1962 – CIL House – Montreal, Montreal, Quebec * 1962 – Albright-Knox Art Gallery addition – Buffalo, New York * 1963 – Travertine House – East Hampton (town), New York, East Hampton, New York * 1963 – Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Beinecke Library – Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut * 1965 – American Republic Insurance Company Headquarters Building, American Republic Insurance Company Headquarters – Des Moines, Iowa * 1965 – Banque Lambert – Brussels, Belgium * 1965 – New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (interiors) – New York City, New York, New York * 1965 – Hayes Park Central & South Buildings – Hayes, Hillingdon, Hayes, United Kingdom * 1965 – Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium – University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of MassachusettsNew York, New York, , Amherst, Massachusetts * 1967 – 140 Broadway – New York, New York, New York City * 1971 – Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum – Austin, Texas * 1972 – Carlton Centre – Johannesburg, South Africa * 1973 – New York City Convention and Exhibition Center (not built) – New York City, New York, New York * 1973 – Cornell Central Campus#Central buildings, Uris Hall, Cornell University – Ithaca, New York * 1974 – Solow Building – 9 West 57th Street, New York City, New York, New York * 1974 – W. R. Grace Building – New York City, New York, New York * 1974 – – Washington, D.C. * 1983 – National Commercial Bank (Saudi Arabia), National Commercial Bank – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Personal lifeIn 1943, Bunshaft married Nina Wayler (d. 1994). They were avid collectors of contemporary art and owned many major pieces including works by Joan Miró, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Fernand Léger, Léger and Noguchi. They lived in the Manhattan House Apartments in New York's Upper East Side, which he helped design, and at the Bunshaft Residence, Travertine House in East Hampton, which was his only single-family residence. He is buried next to his wife and parents in the Temple Beth El cemetery on Pine Ridge Road in Buffalo, New York.
Further reading*Carol Herselle Krinsky, Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, MIT Press, 1988
External links* * Discussion and links about preservation and rebuilding of the Bunshaft Residence, aka "Travertine House.". *