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Gordon Bunshaft, (May 9, 1909 – August 6, 1990), was an American architect, a leading proponent of modern design in the mid-twentieth century. A partner in the architectural firm
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is a global architectural, urban planning and engineering firm. It was founded in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel A. Owings, Nathaniel Owings. In 1939, they were joined by engineer John O. Merrill. ...
(SOM), Bunshaft joined in 1937 and remained for more than 40 years. The long list of his notable buildings includes
Lever House Lever House is a glass-box skyscraper at 390 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan Midtown Manhattan is the central portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New ...
in New York, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, the
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be ac ...
in Washington, D.C., the National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 140 Broadway (Marine Midland Grace Trust Co.) and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Branch Bank in New York; the last was the first post-war "transparent" bank on the East Coast.


Early life

Bunshaft 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.


Career

After 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 honors

Bunshaft 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.


Legacy

Bunshaft's personal papers are held by th
Department of Drawings & Archives
in the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University; his architectural drawings remain with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, SOM.


Buildings

* 1942 – National Museum of the American Sailor#History, Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Hostess House – Great Lakes, Illinois * 1951 –
Lever House Lever House is a glass-box skyscraper at 390 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan Midtown Manhattan is the central portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New ...
 – 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 –
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be ac ...
 – Washington, D.C. * 1983 – National Commercial Bank (Saudi Arabia), National Commercial Bank – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Gallery

Image:Manufacturers_Trust_Company_Building_510_Fifth_Avenue.jpg, Manufacturers_Trust_Company_Building, Manufacturers Trust Building
New York, New York 1954 Image:Ehemaliges_Amerikanisches_Generalkonsulat_-_Bremen.jpg, Consular_Agency_of_the_United_States,_Bremen, United States Consular Agency
Bremen, Germany 1956 Image:FordGlassHouse.jpg, Ford World Headquarters
Dearborn, Michigan 1956 Image:Connecticut_General_Life_Insurance_Company_Headquarters.JPG, Connecticut_General_Life_Insurance_Company_Headquarters, Connecticut General Life Insurance Headquarters
Bloomfield, CT 1957 Image:Yale-beinecke-library.jpg, Beinecke Library
Yale University, New Haven, CT 1963 Image:Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Interior (34254026911).jpg, Beinecke Library, Beinecke Library Interior
Yale University, New Haven, CT 1963 Image:Johnson library.jpg, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Johnson Presidential Library
Austin, Texas, 1971 Image:SolowBuilding.jpg, Solow Building
New York, 1974 Image:Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden - exterior.jpg, Hirshhorn Museum
Washington, D.C. 1974


Personal life

In 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.


References


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.". *
Gordon Bunshaft architectural drawings and papers, 1909-1990 (bulk 1950-1979)
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Bunshaft, Gordon 1909 births 1990 deaths Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni Modernist architects from the United States 20th-century American architects Architects from Buffalo, New York American people of Russian-Jewish descent Jewish architects Pritzker Architecture Prize winners Fellows of the American Institute of Architects Lafayette High School (Buffalo, New York) alumni