George Bergstrom

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George Bergstrom
George Edwin Bergstrom.jpg
BornMarch 12, 1876
DiedJune 17, 1955 (aged 79)
Alma materYale University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Spouse(s)Nancy Kimberly
BuildingsThe Pentagon
Aerial view of The Pentagon

George Edwin Bergstrom (March 12, 1876 – June 17, 1955) was an American architect who designed The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia.[1][2]


George Edwin Bergstrom was born in Neenah, Wisconsin of Norwegian immigrant ancestry. His father, George O. Bergstrom, was a prominent businessman and local politician and his childhood home,[clarification needed] now known as the George O. Bergstrom House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He attended Phillips-Andover Academy, and was in the Yale University class of 1896. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899. Bergstrom settled in Los Angeles, California, in 1901. In 1903, he married the former Nancy Kimberly, daughter of John A. Kimberly, a co-founder of Kimberly-Clark. They had two children; Alice Cheney Bergstrom and George Edwin Bergstrom, Jr.[3]


From 1905 to 1915, Bergstrom was in partnership with architect John Parkinson. The firm of Parkinson & Bergstrom designed numerous public and private buildings throughout Southern California, and designed many of the major office and commercial buildings erected in downtown Los Angeles during this period. Among these were the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the Alexandria Hotel, and the original building of Bullock's Department Store. The firm also received commissions for major projects as distant as Salt Lake City, first for the Kearns Building, erected in 1911 for U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns, a mining, newspaper, railroad and banking magnate and later, the Hotel Utah, now the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, was erected in 1909-1911.

After establishing his own practice in 1915, Bergstrom continued to design buildings throughout the region, including buildings for John C. Fremont High School,[4] and Redlands High School,[5] at Redlands, California. He designed buildings for the Elks Club[6] and the Commercial Club in downtown Los Angeles,[7] and collaborated with architect William Lee Woollett (1874–1955) [8] on Grauman's Metropolitan Theatre (later called the Paramount Theatre) for impresario Sid Grauman.[9] One of his most notable buildings of the period was the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, which he designed in association with architects Cyril Bennett and Fitch Haskell.[10]

Between 1925 and 1931, Bergstrom associated on the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, with the Pasadena architectural firm of Haskell and Bennett, which was composed of John Cyril Bennett (1891–1957) and Fitch Harrison Haskell (1883–1962). The firm of Bergstrom and Witmer, Architects was in operation from 1941-1943. Bergstrom and David J. Witmer (1888–1973) acted as the Chief Architects for the Pentagon Building. Bergstrom and Witmer did the basic design work in a remarkably short time during 1941, between July 17 and July 22.[11][12][13] Bergstrom was replaced as chief architect by Whitmer in April 1942 following Bergstorm's resignation due to unrelated charges of improper conduct while he was president of the American Institute of Architects.[14]

Active in civic affairs, Bergstrom served as president of the Municipal Housing Commission for seven years and was a member of the Municipal Art Commission. He also served as chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of Southern California's School of Architecture. He was president of the Southern California chapter of the American Institute of Architects for two years, and served three years as director of the Institute. Active in numerous clubs and civic organizations, he served as a director of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, and was president of the Allied Architect's Association of Los Angeles.[15]

He died in 1955 and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. [16]

Architectural firms[edit]

  • Parkinson and Bergstrom, Architects (1905–1915)[17]
  • Bergstrom, Haskell and Bennett, Associated Architects (1925–1932)[18]
  • Bergstrom and Witmer, Architects (1941–1943)[19]

Selected works[edit]

  • Ansonia Apartments, Los Angeles California (1916)
  • Anthony, Earle C. Incorporated Building #1, Los Angeles, California (1911)
  • Brownstone Hotel, Los Angeles, California (1905)
  • Citizens Bank Building, Pasadena, California (1914)
  • Ford Motor Company Factory, Los Angeles, California (1912)
  • Grauman's Metropolitan Theatre, Los Angeles, California (1921–1923)
  • Johnson, O.T., Commercial Building #3, Downtown, Los Angeles, California (1906)
  • Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, Los Angeles, California (1906)
  • Pasadena Municipal Auditorium, Pasadena, California (1925–1932)
  • The Pentagon, Headquarters of U.S. Department of Defense (Sep 1941- Jan 1943), Washington, DC
  • Rowan Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, California ( 1911–1912)
  • Security First National Bank, Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, California (1915–1916)
  • Spreckels Brothers Warehouse, Los Angeles, California (1909)
  • Trustee Company of Los Angeles, Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, California (1906)
  • Union Oil Company Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, California (1911)
  • Washington Building, Los Angeles, California (1912)


  1. ^ The Pentagon (
  2. ^ Concept to Early Construction(Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs) Archived 2008-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ George Edwin Bergstrom (Los Angeles California Census 1920 Federal Census)
  4. ^ Architect & Engineer, April, 1927
  5. ^ Southwest Builder & Contractor, October 27, 1927
  6. ^ Southwest Builder & Contractor, November 19, 1920
  7. ^ Southwest Builder & Contractor, January 22, 1925
  8. ^ William Lee Woollett (The American Institute of Architects) Archived 2012-03-31 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Southwest Builder & Contractor, August 20, 1920; March 4, 1921; April 22, 1921
  10. ^ Southwest Builder & Contractor, January 2, 1925; California Southland, April, 1927; California Arts and Architecture, March, 1932
  11. ^ John Cyril Bennett(Pacific Coast Architecture Database)
  12. ^ Fitch Harrison Haskell(Pacific Coast Architecture Database)
  13. ^ David Julius Witmer (Pacific Coast Architecture Database)
  14. ^ Alfred Goldberg (1992). "The Pentagon: The First Fifty Years. Office of the Secretary of Defense" (PDF). Government Printing Office. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  15. ^ George Edwin Bergstrom (Pacific Coast Architecture Database)
  16. ^ PCAD
  17. ^ Parkinson and Bergstrom (Pacific Coast Architecture Database)
  18. ^ Bergstrom, Haskell, and Bennett (Pacific Coast Architecture Database)
  19. ^ Bergstrom and Witmer, Architects (Pacific Coast Architecture Database)

External links[edit]