08/20/13 4:00pm

IBM Rochester reflecting trees
Today the architectural world celebrates Eero Saarinen’s birthday. Born in Finland on August 20, 1910 (his architect dad Eliel was, amazingly, born on the same date in 1873), Eero Saarinen established himself as a giant, before dying young of a brain tumor on September 1, 1961. We live in Saarinen’s world—his elegant Tulip chair, never long out of fashion, was celebrated in the 1960s by the Star Trek television series, and more recently by Mad Men. His Gateway Arch (finished after his death by Charles Eames) remained a symbol of hope in St. Louis even in the city’s dark days of the 1980s. His Kresge Auditorium on MIT’s campus virtually proclaims post-war confidence and exuberance. His Miller House in Columbus, Indiana, is considered the epitome of mid-20th-century design. His Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center (New York’s only Broadway-class theater outside the theater district) has freshly been revived with a series of hits, including War Horse and Ann. And dozens more.

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