Shreve, Lamb & Harmon

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Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon, founded as Shreve & Lamb, was an architectural firm, best known for designing the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world at the time of its completion in 1931.

The Empire State Building, Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon's best known work


The firm was founded in 1920 as Shreve & Lamb, a partnership of Richmond Harold ("R.H.") Shreve, a Canadian from Nova Scotia, and William F. Lamb, from Brooklyn, New York, U.S.—Shreve was the administrator, while Lamb was the designer. The two met while working at Carrère & Hastings, and Shreve & Lamb was initially a Carrère & Hastings firm. In 1924 the pair decided to leave Carrère & Hastings and became an autonomous architectural company.[1]

In 1929, Arthur Loomis Harmon, from Chicago, Illinois, U.S., joined Shreve & Lamb, and the firm became Shreve, Lamb & Harmon.[1] Prior to joining the firm, Harmon's works included battle monuments at Tours, Cantigny and Somme-Py in France, a YMCA in Jerusalem, and the Shelton Hotel in New York, U.S.[1]

For the construction of the Empire State Building, the firm's most notable work, Lamb was responsible for the design, while Shreve's planning skills facilitated the completion of the construction in a year. Shreve's planning skills were recognized in New York and he was involved in projects beyond the firm, such as the Slum clearance Committee of New York.[1]

Shreve, Lamb & Harmon primary focus was commercial office buildings and their work in this area was described as "spare and functional" in 2010 by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. However, the firm completed numerous residential projects, such as No. 130 East 57th Street, and this facet of the company's work was mainly conducted in neo-Tudor, as well as other popular historical styles of the 1920s.[1]

Shreve, Lamb and Harmon had also employed the future architect behind the original World Trade Center complex, Minoru Yamasaki after he had completed a masters degree in architecture in 1936. Lasting until 1945, this professional relationship was cut short when Yamasaki took a job at Smith, Hinchman &Grylls.[2]

It is not entirely clear when the company went out of business, with 1989 being a likely date.[3]

Notable buildings[edit]

All buildings are located in New York City unless otherwise indicated:



  1. ^ a b c d e Klose, Oliivia. "500 Fifth Avenue Designation Report" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (December 14, 2010)
  2. ^ "Spotlight: Minoru Yamasaki". Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  3. ^ "Shreve Lamb & Harmon architectural records, 1930-1989 bulk 1937-1965". Retrieved 2019-09-30.

External links[edit]