Architects A - B

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Featured Architect – Philip Birnbaum

Philip Birnbaum was a prolific architect, responsible for hundreds of structures; almost all large apartment buildings across the city. When he died in 1996, the headline in his New York Times obituary stated that he was “celebrated for his efficiency”. What this meant was that developers liked his ability to fit a maximum amount of space into his layouts and therefore maximize developers’ returns. But for better or worse, his career changed the face of New York with his buildings still providing housing for thousands of city residents of all walks of life. From the Executive Towers, a flashy 1960s complex on the Bronx’s Grand Concourse to dozens of buildings on the Upper East Side, many of these look the same and employed white, yellow, or red brick exteriors, balconies, and some even rooftop swimming pools, a feature his New York Times obituary claims he was the innovator of. Of his ten Queens Chamber-prize winning projects, seven are in Forest Hills or neighboring Rego Park and all but one are large brick apartment towers. Six of them were also done in partnership with well-known Queens developer Alfred L. Kaskel including the true stand out,  his streamlined, gleaming metal Metropolitan Industrial Bank of 1952.

Sources:

Dunlap, David W., “Philip Birnbaum, 89, Builder Celebrated for His Efficiency,” The New York Times. 28 November 1996

Perlman, Michael, “Birnbaum & Kaskel’s Legacy in Forest Hills, “Forest Hills/Rego Park Times 23 September 2014

 

 

 

Architects:      A – B   C – F   G – K  L – N   O – Sh    Si – Z

 

A.. N. Sirof Associates
Abbott, Merkt and Co.
Charles Abrahams

Photo and text….

Louis Allen Abramson

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Agusta and Agusta
Alexander D. Crossett and Associates
Andrews and Clark
Samuel S. Arlen
Arthur A. Unger and Associates
Arthur Froelich and Associates
Henry Titus Aspinwall
Barbanel and Levien
S. Brian Baylinson
Beatty and Berlenbach
Firm Principals: George Edward Beatty, Francis. J. Berlenbach, Frank A. Berlenbach

The firm dates back to 1880 and was founded by Frank Berlenbach’s father, Francis Joseph Berlenbach, who designed dozens of Catholic churches in Brooklyn including the current Co-Cathedral of Brooklyn, St. Joseph’s. He also briefly worked for one of the preeminent church designers in America, James Renwick. Beatty joined the firm in 1927 and Berlenbach (the father) died in 1944. During their existence as Beatty and Berlenbach they did numerous commissions for the Brooklyn and Long Island Catholic dioceses including churches, schools, colleges, housing, and occasionally even adding buildings to complexes where Berlenbach Sr. had done early structures. The firm was based in Brooklyn but also had offices in Shoreham, NY and Washington DC.

Sources:

American Architects Directory, First Edition, 1956. Copyright 1956 R. R. Bowker LLC.

American Architects Directory, Second Edition, 1962. Copyright 1962 R. R. Bowker LLC.

“Franz J. Berlenbach” Wikipedia.com, accessed 21 Dec. 2014.

Presa, Donald G. “F. J. Berlenbach House designation report” NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. 11 May 2004. Web.

Richard M. Bellamy
Leo V. Berger
George J. Berlin
Jacob Berman
Lou Bifano
Theo E. Bindrim
Philip Birnbaum

Philip Birnbaum was a prolific architect, responsible for hundreds of structures; almost all large apartment buildings across the city. When he died in 1996, his obituary in the New York Times stated that he was praised by developers for his efficient layouts. Of his ten prize winning projects, seven are in Forest Hills or neighboring Rego Park and all but one are large brick apartment towers. The stand out is his streamlined metal Metropolitan Industrial Bank of 1952, a true tour de force.

Biuso and Barry
Bloch and Hesse
Karl E. Blomberg
Walter E. Blum
Boak and Raad
Boegel and Allodi

Principals: William J. Boegel, Edward F. Allodi

Boegel and Allodi was founded when these two architects, with successful practices of their own, merged in 1962. Boegel’s award-winning projects extend from 1952-1966, so only the last two are part of his partnership with Allodi. All are Catholic religious sites. at which both Boegel and Allodi specialized. Most of Boegel’s work was done in the Brooklyn and Rockville Centre Dioceses, while Allodi was based in Connecticut.

Sources:

American Architects Directory, First Edition, 1956. Copyright 1956 R. R. Bowker LLC.

American Architects Directory, Second Edition, 1962. Copyright 1962 R. R. Bowker LLC.

William J. Boegel
W. W. Bond
Lawrence M. Bothman
George L. Bousquet

Bosquet was a Bayside-based architect, known primarily for his residential work including many of the houses in the private development of Bayside Gables, two of which won a Queens Award. His other Queens Awards winner of note is a high style Colonial-Revival bank branch on Hillside Avenue, complete with cupola and weathervane. According to his AIA membership file, he was born in Massachusetts and came to New York to work for the renowned theater architect, Thomas Lamb, as a designer of theater ceilings. He was active from the 30s-50s and died in 1963.

Sources:

American Architects Directory, First Edition, 1956. Copyright 1956 R. R. Bowker LLC.

American Architects Directory, Second Edition, 1962. Copyright 1962 R. R. Bowker LLC.

“Baldwin Memorial biographical form” American Institute of Architects Archives. Jan 1964.

Benjamin Braunstein
Brodsky Hopf and Adler
Brown and Guenther
Jack Brown

Jack Brown was the chief architect for New York’s Lefrak family for more than four decades from the 1950s until the 1990s, and as such helped shape the design of postwar housing, especially in the borough of Queens. Earlier in his career he was responsible for numerous apartment buildings in Queens. Judging his buildings today, his style of design, mostly for large complexes with brick facades and minimal details, shows his understanding that the LeFraks were interested in building in quantity but also interested in attracting a wide variety of middle and upper class tenant. Brown died in 2007.

Sources:

Marzlock, Ron. “LeFrak Tower, now the Contour” Queens Chronicle. 31. Oct. 2013.

“Obituaries-Brown, Jack” The New York Times. 10 Sep. 2007.

Tobias, Andrew. “Someday We May All Live in LeFrak City” New York Magazine. 12 Mar. 1973.

Brown, Lawford and Forbes
Edward L. Burch Jr.
Joseph L. Burke
John Stuart Burns
Philip Birnbaum

Philip Birnbaum was a prolific architect, responsible for hundreds of structures; almost all large apartment buildings across the city. When he died in 1996, his obituary in the New York Times stated that he was praised by developers for his efficient layouts. Of his ten prize winning projects, seven are in Forest Hills or neighboring Rego Park and all but one are large brick apartment towers. The stand out is his streamlined metal Metropolitan Industrial Bank of 1952, a true tour de force.

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