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Gordon Bunshaft

Born: 9-May-1909
Birthplace: Buffalo, NY
Died: 6-Aug-1990
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Temple Beth El Cemetery, Buffalo, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Architect

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Skyscraper architect

Architect Gordon Bunshaft was responsible for some of the earliest and most famous "corporate modernist" buildings. He was hired as a designer with the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in 1937, and became a partner in the firm twelve years later. His were among the first "glass box" skyscrapers, a style that was often breathtaking when designed by Bunshaft but became dull in the hands of lesser architects.

His New York City landmarks include Lever House (headquarters for Lever Brothers, now Unilever, 1950), Manufacturers' Trust Building (now Manufacturers Hanover, 1954), Chase Manhattan Bank (1961), and Marine Midland Building (now HSBC, 1967). His other well-known buildings include the 1962 expansion of the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University (1965), the Connecticut General Life Insurance Building (now CIGNA in Bloomfield, CT (1957), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. (1974), the Istanbul Hilton in Turkey (1955), and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas (1968).

Wife: Nina Wayler (dancer, m. 1943)

    High School: Lafayette High School, Buffalo, NY
    University: BS Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1933)
    University: MA Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1935)

    Pritzker Prize 1988 (with Oscar Niemeyer)
    Bruner Prize 1955
    American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Gold Medal 1984
    American Institute of Architects
    Museum of Modern Art Board of Trustees (1975-90)
    Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Designer (1937-49)
    Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Partner (1949-79)
    Russian Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry

Selected edifices:
Lever House (1950)
Manufacturers' Trust Building (1954)
Connecticut General Life Insurance Building (1957)
Beinecke Rare Book Library (1965)
Marine Midland Building (1967)
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library (1968)
Hirshhorn Museum (1974)


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