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Eggers & Higgins

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Eggers and Higgins in their New York City offices in 1941
Indiana University's auditorium, developed by Eggers and Higgins in 1942

Eggers & Higgins was a New York architectural firm partnered by Otto Reinhold Eggers (August 4, 1882 – April 23, 1964)[1][2] and Daniel Paul Higgins (September 12, 1886 – December 26, 1953).[3][4] The architects were responsible for the construction phase of the Jefferson Memorial beginning in 1939, two years after the death of its original architect, John Russell Pope, despite protests that their appointment had been undemocratic and therefore "un-Jeffersonian". Critics argued a competition should have been held to choose Pope's successor. In 1941, they also completed construction of Pope's other famous design, the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, also in Washington, D.C.

The pair were longtime associates of Pope in the firm he founded in 1903 as the Office of John Russell Pope, Architect. Eggers was a brilliant designer and renderer who served as Pope's right hand for almost thirty years.[5] They changed the name of the firm to Eggers & Higgins in 1937, soon after Pope's death. In 1958, it ranked as the fourth-largest architecture firm in the United States.[6] The firm was renamed The Eggers Partnership in 1970, and then as The Eggers Group, PC when it became a professional corporation in 1976. It eventually merged into what is now RMJM, a large architectural firm with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia.

Eggers & Higgins also designed the Brooklyn War Memorial, a classical stone building in Cadman Plaza dedicated to Brooklynites who fought in World War II.[7] At the same time, they also designed the Vanderbilt Law School Building, now Vanderbilt Hall of the New York University School of Law.[7] For the 1939 New York World's Fair they designed the Railroads Building, the largest at the Fair, and the Schaefer center, a restaurant seating 1600 with a long open-air bar.[8] In Lincoln Center the firm developed Damrosch Park, an outdoor amphitheater with a bowl-style stage known as the Guggenheim Band Shell.[9]

In addition to their planning role with New York University on the redevelopment of Washington Square,[10] the firm was also engaged with Indiana University as their primary architects for more than 30 years. They designed all the major buildings on the Bloomington campus from the Indiana University Auditorium completed in 1941, until they were replaced on the musical arts center project in 1962.[11] Their major campus building designs included the Fine Arts Building, Lilly Library, the Stadium and Assembly Hall. They were also tapped for the development of the Indiana University School of Medicine campus including the Indiana University Health University Hospital.[12]

In 1948, Eggers was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1951.

Other notable designs[edit]


  1. ^ "Membership file: Otto Eggers" (PDF). American Institute of Architects. p. 5. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "Otto Eggers, 81, Architect, Dies; Helped Design the Jefferson Memorial in Washington". The New York Times. April 24, 1964. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "Membership file: Daniel Paul Higgins" (PDF). American Institute of Architects. p. 26. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  4. ^ "Daniel P. Higgins, Architect, 67, Dies; Designed Jefferson Memorial, Constitution Hall and Other Well-Known U.S. Structures". The New York Times. December 27, 1953. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  5. ^ Sinclair, Evelyn; Peatross, C. Ford (2005). Capital Drawings: Architectural Designs for Washington, D.C., from the Library of Congress. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-7232-4.
  6. ^ Moore, David W. Jr; Edgington, Justin B.; Payne, Emily T. (2010). "Eggers & Higgins" (PDF). A Guide to Architecture and Engineering Firms of the Cold War Era. U.S. Department of Defense. p. 111. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Morrone, Francis; Iska, James (2001). An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith Publishers. pp. 13–14. ISBN 1-58685-047-4.
  8. ^ Appelbaum, Stanley; Wurts, Richard (1977). The New York World's Fair, 1939/1940 in 155 photographs. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-23494-0.
  9. ^ Morrone, Francis; Iska, James (2002). The Architectural Guidebook to New York City. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith Publishers. p. 265. ISBN 1-58685-211-6.
  10. ^ Schwartz, Joel (1993). The New York approach: Robert Moses, urban liberals, and redevelopment of the inner city. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. p. 138. ISBN 0-8142-0587-9.
  11. ^ Logan, George M. (2000). The Indiana University School of Music: a history. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 223. ISBN 0-253-33820-4.
  12. ^ Wells, Herman B. (1980). Being Lucky: Reminiscences and Reflections. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 198. ISBN 0-253-11556-6.
  13. ^ "Ben Franklin To Open As Co-ed High School". New York Amsterdam News. September 10, 1960. p. 6.

External links[edit]