"I believe the inspiration for a building should be in the accumulation of history. Architecture...should be timeless and convey by its very fiber the assurance of permanence..."

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Happy birthday Edward Durell Stone!

Edward Durell Stone (March 9, 1902 – August 6, 1978) was a 20th century American architect whose modern architectural designs can be seen in a number of important American structures. Stone's staple contributions to American architecture include the main lobby and grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Standard Oil Building in Chicago, and others.

EdwardDurellStone

 

As a young man, Edward Stone studied architecture at several universities, including the University of Arkansas, the Boston Architectural Club (now Boston Architectural College), Harvard University, and MIT, but Stone did not receive his degree. Stone then traveled through Europe for two years on the prestigious Rotch Travelling Fellowship. He was deeply influenced by the neoclassical Beaux-Arts style of architecture throughout Europe, and maintained elaborate sketch books with careful architectural watercolors in the Beaux-Arts style.

After returning to New York in October 1929, at the onset of the Great Depression, Stone was hired for a series of prominent prominent and residential commissions. His buildings in New York included:

The lobby and grand ballroom for the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Waldorf_Astoria_lobby

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Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center

Radio_City_Music_Hall

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The Richard H. Mandel House (a residential commission in Mt. Kisco which was later added to the National Register of Historic Places)

MandelHouse

MandelHouse2

source: Eric Brill

The Museum of Modern Art 

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Following a period of service on the Air Force during which he was the Chief of the Planning and Design for the Army Air Force bases, Stone returned to New York City to set up his architectural practice at 50 East 64th Street. He was soon commissioned to design the El Panama Hotel in Panama City (below), and produced a building that was modern and environmentally conscious. Although Stone was a highly successful architect, he faced criticism when he began to turn away from the sparse modernist style, and began to incorporate romantic elements into his designs. 

elpanamahoteledwarddurellstone

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Stone became known as a skilled designer of hospitals, and adeptly designed several institutions that allowed patients to feel at ease. These included the Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto,the CommunityHospital of the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey,the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, and the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.

After he married his second wife, Maria Elena Torchio, Stone's appreciation for the romantic architecture he had seen in Europe, was reawakened, and he incorporated classical design in much of his work. His life changed drastically, and his business expanded exponentially, when he was commissioned to build 

The United States Embassy in New Delhi, India

USEmbassyNewDelhi

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and the United States Pavilion for the 1958 International Exposition in Brussels, Belgium,

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source: Wouter Hagens

Stone's business became considerably more corporate, and critics have said that his work suffered and turned formulaic. Still, Stone continued to earn major commissions, including 

the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC,

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 the Standard Oil building in Chicago, Illinois

Aon_Center_Chicago_north_face

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and the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology.

PINSTEC

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Edward Durell Stone died on August 6, 1978 in New York City. His son Hicks Stone is an architect in New York and has written his father's biography, Edward Durell Stone: A Son's Untold Story of a Legendary Architect. Stone has been described by the United Press International as "the most quoted architect since the death of Frank Lloyd Wright".

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Sunday, 09 March 2014
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