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James Ingo Freed

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James Ingo Freed FAIA
Partner, 1980–2005


As one of three name partners at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, James Ingo Freed contributed significantly to the firm's work from 1956, when he joined the office, until his death in 2005. He was responsible for some of the firm's best-known buildings during those years, most notably the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Other well-known works by Mr. Freed include the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, also in Washington, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, the Los Angeles Convention Center Expansion, and the San Francisco Main Public Library.

In addition to the many major awards conferred on his buildings, Mr. Freed personally received wide acclaim from his profession. Among the most notable honors bestowed on him were the R. S. Reynolds Memorial Award for Excellence in Architecture (1974); the Arnold W. Brunner Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1987); the Medal of Honor of the New York Chapter of the AIA (1987); the first annual Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, which was conferred for lifetime achievement by the American Institute of Architects in 1992; the Architectural Achievement Award of the New York Society of Architects (1994); the 1995 National Medal of Arts awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts and presented by President Clinton in 1995; and the 1997 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design for the Government of the United States. In 1998 the president of the American Institute of Architects honored Mr. Freed with a Presidential Citation for Lifetime Achievement.

Early buildings in which Mr. Freed played a leading design role include Kips Bay Plaza and New York University Towers, both large-scale residential projects in Manhattan. He also played a key role in the prototypical designs for 50 FAA air traffic control towers, which were executed in various cities across the country and abroad (1962).

Executed works for which Mr. Freed was principally responsible for design include: 88 Pine Street, an office tower in New York's Financial District (1973); National Bank of Commerce in Lincoln, Nebraska (1976); One West Loop Plaza in Houston, Texas (1980); Gem City Savings in Dayton, Ohio (1981); 499 Park Avenue, an office tower in midtown Manhattan (1981); Hilton Houston Post Oak (formerly Warwick Post Oak) Hotel in Houston, Texas (1982); Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Plaza in New York City (1986, 1988); Potomac Tower , a riverfront office building in Rosslyn, Virginia overlooking downtown Washington (1989); 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, a block-long building involving the renovation of the historic Warner Theater (1991); and the 57-story First Bank Place, one of the three towers that define the skyline of downtown Minneapolis (1992). Nearly all of these buildings has received at least one major design award.

Recently completed projects include the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum , whose cornerstone was laid by President Reagan in 1989 and which was dedicated by President Clinton in 1993; the 2.5-million-square-foot expansion and modernization of the Los Angeles Convention Center (1993); the San Francisco Main Public Library at the Civic Center (1996); the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, a 3.1-million-square-foot mixed-use complex on Pennsylvania Avenue two blocks from the White House (1998); the Alumni Center at Ball State University (1998); the four-building Science and Engineering Quad at Stanford University (1999); the Roman L. Hruska United States Courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska (2000); Broad Center for the Biological Sciences at California Institute of Technology (2002); and 1700 K Street, and an office building in Washington, D.C. (2005).

Works in progress at the time of Mr. Freed's death include the United States Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia (completed in 2006); the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Building at the University of Michigan (unexecuted); 1000 Connecticut Avenue, an office building in Washington, D.C. (presently under construction); and Waterview Residences | Hotel Palomar Arlington in Rosslyn, Virginia (completed in 2008), which was designed to continue the geometry of Potomac Tower, a waterfront office building completed by Mr. Freed on the adjacent site in 1989.

Throughout his career, Mr. Freed was engaged in urban design and large-scale urban development. In addition to his completed works, he was also responsible for a number of significant unexecuted urban developments, most notably the restoration and expansion of the Ferry Building Complex in San Francisco (1984); Mission Bay, a 195-acre mixed-use development on former rail yards one mile from downtown San Francisco (1984); and St. George Place, a high-rise residential community on the Staten Island waterfront, designed before the creation of Battery Park City to complement the Manhattan skyline (1968).

Before joining Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (I. M. Pei & Partners prior to 1989), Mr. Freed had worked in both Chicago and New York, notably in the office of Mies van der Rohe. He received his architectural degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1953 and two decades later, in 1975–1978, returned to his alma mater as dean of the School of Architecture. Mr. Freed also taught at Cooper Union, Cornell University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Columbia University and Yale University. He also demonstrated his commitment to education as visiting lecturer, critic and jurist at colleges across the country.

Mr. Freed received honorary degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Doctor of Humane Letters, 1995), Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (Doctor of Humane Letters, 1995) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (Doctor of Humane Letters, 1998). He was widely published in professional journals and books and participated in dozens of exhibitions both in the United States and abroad. Mr. Freed was active in numerous professional organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, the Architectural League of New York, the Municipal Art Society, and on the Steering Committee of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Mr. Freed was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He was a Director of the Regional Plan Association of New York–New Jersey–Connecticut (1985–88), and from 1983 to 1991 served as architectural commissioner of the Art Commission of New York City. In 1988 Mr. Freed was elected to membership in the American Academy of Design. Mr. Freed was also a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

See also Mr. Freed's Curriculum Vitae and Project List.
 

 

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