Irwin Chanin

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Irwin (Yitzchak) Salmon Chanin
Irwin Chanin - photo .jpg
Irwin Chanin in 1927
Born October 29, 1891
Bronx, New York
Died February 24, 1988(1988-02-24) (aged 96)
Nationality United States
Education B.S. Cooper Union
Occupation real estate developer
Spouse(s) Sylvia Schofler
Children Doris Chanin Freedman
Parent(s) Simon (Shneur Zalman) Chanin (father) and Zelda Chanin (mother)
Family Henry Chanin (brother)

Irwin Salmon Chanin (29 October 1891 – 24 February 1988) was an American architect and real estate developer, best known for designing several Art Deco towers and Broadway theaters.


Irwin Chanin was born to a Jewish family, the son of an immigrant from Poland and an immigrant from Poltava.[1] In 1915, he graduated from Cooper Union with a degree in civil engineering.[1] In 1919, he and his brother Henry founded the Chanin Construction Company.[1] In 1925, they built the 46th Street Theater, the first of six theaters built on Broadway.[1] In 1930, they built a twin-towered housing cooperative skyscraper named The Majestic and then The Century.[1] both on Central Park West. Other notable buildings include the Chanin Building, Richard Rodgers Theatre, the Lincoln Hotel (now Row NYC Hotel), the Beacon Hotel and Theater, and the World Apparel Center.[1]

Chanin was also known for developing the "Green Acres" section of Valley Stream, NY. Ground broke in 1936 but only Phase I (known as the "old section") was completed before World War II. After the war construction resumed and the "new section" was completed by 1959. This section included the balance of the residential homes, the Forest Road Elementary School, the Green Acres Shopping Center (now, the Green Acres Mall) and the Green Acres Garden Apartments.[2]

He was President of Chanin Theatres Corporation, and his brother Henry I. Chanin was Treasurer. In 1981, Cooper Union renamed its school of architecture after him.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1921, Chanin married Sylvia Schofler; She died in 1976. Their children included sons Paul Richard Chanin, who died in 2009 and Marcy Chanin, who died in 1997 and daughters Doris Chanin Freedman, who died in 1981 and Joan Chanin Schwartz[1] Irwin Chanin died on February 24, 1988. His funeral was held at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i David W. Dunlap (February 26, 1988). "Irwin Chanin, Builder of Theaters And Art Deco Towers, Dies at 96 (Obituary)". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ reference 2
  • Orosz, and Di Luccio (2014). "Green Acres: The Greatest Planned Neighborhood You've Never Heard Of". American Planning Assn. Special Feature — Practicing Planner (Winter 2014). 

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