Hugh Stubbins Jr., 94; Architect of Icons

Associated Press
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hugh Stubbins Jr., 94, an architect whose Citigroup Center in Manhattan, with its sharply angled roof, is a major icon on the New York skyline, died July 5 at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He had pneumonia.

Mr. Stubbins also designed such noted buildings as Boston's Federal Reserve Bank; the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.; and Congress Hall, now known as House of World Cultures, in Berlin.

The 59-story Citigroup (formerly Citicorp) Center, dedicated in 1977, broke with the "glass box" form of modern skyscrapers with its roof, piercing the sky at a 45-degree angle.

It appears to sit on four huge columns -- not at the corners, but in the middle of each side of the building. Tucked in one corner is a church, also designed by Mr. Stubbins, that replaces one that was torn down to build the complex.

"By any standard the architect, Hugh Stubbins & Associates of Cambridge, Mass., has created one of New York's significant buildings," the New York Times wrote.

Appraising Mr. Stubbins's Federal Reserve building in Boston, the same Times critic, Paul Goldberger, declared it one of the best modern buildings in the city, "more dramatic and more elegant" than the Citicorp building.

For the Reagan Library, Mr. Stubbins drew upon California's traditional mission-style architecture. The House of World Cultures, which opened in West Berlin in 1957 as a gift from the United States, features a futuristic flaring roof.

He also designed Landmark Tower in Yokohama, Japan's tallest building, and Veterans Stadium, which, before it was torn down two years ago, was the home of the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Among his honors was the Gold Medal for Excellence in Design from Tau Sigma Delta, the national honorary fraternity for architecture and the allied arts.

Hugh Asher Stubbins Jr. was born in Birmingham, Ala., and graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received a master's in architecture from Harvard University in 1935, where he later taught.

His marriage to Diana Hamilton Moore ended in divorce. His second wife, Colette Fadeuhille, died in 1992. His third wife, June Kootz, died in 2001.

Survivors include four children from his first marriage and nine grandchildren.

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