Gene Summers (architect)

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Gene Summers
BornJuly 31, 1928 (1928-07-31)
San Antonio, Texas
DiedDecember 12, 2011 (2011-12-13) (aged 83)
Sebastopol, California
OccupationAmerican architect

Gene Summers (July 31, 1928 – December 12, 2011) was an American modernist architect. Considered to have been Mies Van Der Rohe's "right-hand man,[1] he assisted his famed employer in the design of the iconic Seagram Building on Park Avenue on the island of Manhattan in New York City. Later, in private practice, he designed the huge McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, Illinois.

Life and career[edit]

Gene R. Summers was born in 1928 in San Antonio, Texas. He studied architecture at Texas A & M, where he received his bachelor's degree, and at the Illinois Institute of Technology under Mies van der Rohe, where he received his master's degree in 1951. From 1950 until 1966 Summers served as project architect for Mies van der Rohe, working on important commissions such as the Seagram Building in New York City and the National Gallery in Berlin. In 1967 he became partner in charge of design in the Chicago architectural firm of C. F. Murphy Associates, where he remained until 1973. His best-known project from that time, the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, was completed in 1970. From 1973 until 1985 Summers, in association with Phyllis Lambert, worked as a real estate developer in California, where they restored, among other projects, several industrial parks, the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, and the Newporter Resort Hotel in Newport Beach. In 1985 Summers moved to France but returned to Chicago in 1989 to become dean of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, a position he held until 1993. Summers was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1972, and later relocated to Healdsburg, California. Summers died on December 12, 2011 in Sebastopol, California at the age of 83.


  1. ^ "The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-09-20.

External links[edit]

  • New York Times Obituary- [1]
  • Oral History of Architects- [2]
  • Video by Karen Carter- [3]