SAH News

Obituary: Harold Fredenburgh

by SAH News | Oct 03, 2016
architect of emblematic tall buildings on skylines across the country, died on January 21, 2016 after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 82 years old. After earning a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University, Fredenburgh worked for a quarter century at I.M. Pei & Partners, where he was an associate partner and design principal. He established his own office, Fredenburgh Wegierska-Mutin Architects, in 1990. In his work with the Pei firm and in independent practice, each of his buildings marked its setting with iconic forms and distinctive public spaces, from a master planned waterfront promenade in Dubai to the iconic CenTrust Tower in Miami, Texas Commerce Tower in Houston, and First Interstate World Center, the tallest building west of Chicago, which provides a memorable centerpoint to the vast horizontal landscape of Los Angeles. Harold Fredenburgh also made major contributions to the design of the John Hancock Tower in Boston. Fredenburgh's efforts in landmark preservation and planning policy contributed to shaping New York City. For two decades his leadership in planning and design review in his home community of Bronxville, New York, was instrumental in preserving the unique character of a landmark residential village while allowing it to meet the challenges of contemporary needs. He was a guiding voice on the Scholarship and Brunner Award Committees of the American Institute of Architects/New York Chapter, a member of the Planning and Urban Design Committee, and a founding member of the Society of Architectural Historians. An unusually well read and scholarly architect, he was an accomplished international lecturer on design and urban planning issues, and was widely regarded in both the university and in the office as a dedicated teacher and ardent advocate of young professionals. As a consequence of his experience with the design of tall buildings, in 1998 he was elected one of four American members of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Building Sciences. He was elevated to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects in 2014. Harold Fredenburgh will be very missed by his daughter Audrey Mateer, son-in-law Robert Williams, Anna Mutin, friends and colleagues.

Published in The New York Times on Jan. 24, 2016

Harold Fredenburgh had been a Patron member of SAH since 1959.

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