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Greenberg, Allan

Greenberg, Allan


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa; immigrated to the United States, 1961; became U.S. citizen, 1973. Education: Attended University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Yale University, M.Arch., 1965.


Office—Allan Greenberg, Architect, LLC, 150 E. 58th St., New York, NY 10155; 1050 Thomas Jefferson St., N.W., Ste. 2100, Washington, DC 20007; 45 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT 06830. E-mail—[email protected]


Architect, 1965—. Worked for leading Scandinavian architect Jorn Utzon on Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, and for Finnish architect Viljo Revell. Served on City of New Haven Redevelopment Agency, New Haven, CT, and as architectural consultant to Connecticut's Chief Justice, 1967-79; Allan Greenberg, Architect, LLC, Washington, DC, sole proprietor, 1972—. Has also taught at Yale University's School of Architecture and School of Law, University of Pennsylvania, and Division of Historic Preservation at Columbia University.


Arthur Ross Award for excellence in architecture, Classical America, 1990; Design Award for Best Commercial Building, Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute, 1998; Design Excellence Award for Architecture, American Institute of Architecture Washington, DC, chapter, 2001; Design Award for Architecture, Cast Stone Institute, 2001; first place for International Excellence in Masonry, Masonry Contractors Association of America, 2002; Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture, University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, 2006.


Courthouse Design: A Handbook for Judges and Court Administrators, American Bar Association Commission on Standards of Judicial Administration, 1975.

(With others) Standards Relating to Architecture of Facilities, Ballinger Publishing (Cambridge, MA), 1977.

George Washington, Architect, Andreas Papadakis Publisher (London, England), 1999.

The Architecture of Democracy: American Architecture and the Legacy of the Revolution, Rizzoli (New York, NY), 2006.

Lutyens and the Modern Movement, Andreas Papadakis (London, England), 2007.


Architect Allan Greenberg is one of the best-known proponents of the classical style and tradition in modern buildings. He "became famous in the 1980s for a residence he designed to resemble Mount Vernon, but with major improvements of proportions and details and a few eccentricities of his own," stated Lindsay Bierman in Southern Accents. "He has since designed some of this country's most extraordinary houses, most of which have never been published to protect the privacy of high-profile clients." "Greenberg decided that there was something unsatisfying about seizing bits and pieces of historical architecture and reproducing them playfully or mockingly in new buildings," Philip Langdon declared in the Atlantic. "The meaning of the historical elements was missing or obscure or deliberately subverted in the new buildings. Greenberg reveres classical forms and employs them for the most part with earnest conviction." Yet "unlike some other strict traditionalists," explained Ned Cramer in Architecture, "Greenberg employs modern methods, materials, and technologies where convenient…. But wherever possible, he denies such harsh realities, slyly substituting cast stone for carved, and hiding expansion joints behind copper drainpipes as well as along indented corners."

In Architecture of Democracy: American Architecture and the Legacy of the Revolution, Greenberg discusses the historical relationship between the United States, its system of government, and its architecture (both public and private). Greenberg's argument is that we can see a direct connection between the house of the ordinary citizen and the public buildings that uphold his or her rights and represent the common government. The book, said Valerie Nye in Library Journal, "allows readers excellent insight into Greenberg's work and is a basis for understanding American architecture."



Architectural Digest, December 1, 1990, "Extending the Architectural Impulse into Interior Design," p. 58.

Architectural Record, October 1, 1985, George L. Hersey, "Allan Greenberg and the Classical Game," p. 160; October 1, 1985, Mildred F. Schmertz, "Design for Diplomacy," p. 152; April 15, 1986, Deborah K. Dietsch, Darl Rastorfer, Karen D. Stein, and Brenner Douglas, "Glorious Necessities," p. 161; April 15, 1986, Douglas Brenner, Grace Anderson, Paul M. Sachner, Karen D. Stein, Darl Rastorfer, Herbert L. Smith, Jr., and Charles K. Gandee, "Record Houses 1986," p. 71.

Architecture, November 1, 1994, M. Lindsay Bierman, "Fit to Print," p. 72; May 1, 2001, Ned Cramer, "Allan Greenberg," p. 146.

Atlantic, January 1, 1990, Philip Langdon, "Modern Classics: Allan Greenberg's Houses Reflect the Revival of the Classical Tradition," p. 86.

Booklist, April 1, 1999, Jay Freeman, review of George Washington, Architect, p. 1376.

Claremont Review of Books, summer, 2007, Hadley Arkes, "Building Democracy," review of The Architecture of Democracy: American Architecture and the Legacy of the Revolution, p. 1376.

Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Valerie Nye, review of The Architecture of Democracy, p. 68.

New Republic, November 27, 1995, Paul Goldberger, "Allan Greenberg: Selected Works," p. 42.

New York Times, June 20, 1982, "Strolling along a Post-modern ‘Street’ from Venice," p. 35.

New York Times Magazine, May 4, 1986, Paul Golderger, "A Classical Showpiece," p. 78.

Newsweek, January 28, 1980, Davis Douglas, "Playful Facades," p. 75; September 7, 1981, "Back to the Classics," p. 76.

Progressive Architecture, October 1, 1981, Susan Doubilet, "The Classical Underground," p. 88; September 1, 1987, Thomas Fisher, "Classically Speaking," p. 110; September 1, 1991, Abby Bussel, "Paternoster Square Master Plan Unveiled," p. 23; November 1, 1993, John Morris Dixon, "Up-to-the-minute Classicism," p. 70.

Reference & Research Book News, November 1, 2006, review of The Architecture of Democracy.

Residential Architect, September 1, 2002, "At Home with the Past: Allan Greenberg Makes the Familiar Fresh Again," p. 56.

Traditional Building, September-October, 2004, Nicole V. Gagné, "Allan Greenberg," p. 16.

Washington Business Journal, October 25, 1996, Douglas Fruehling, "Return to the Past: DC Architect a Pioneer in Movement Back to the Classical," p. 19.

Washington Post, January 23, 1985, "Shultz's Stately Suite; the Americana Project & Its 10-Room Redecoration," p. 1; July 31, 1999, "Mount Vernon Master's Plans; One Fine Washington Architect Admires Another: George Washington," p. C05.


Richard H. Driehaus Prize, (June 20, 2007), author biography.

Slate, (February 1, 2006), Witold Rybczynski, "Something Old, Something New: A Prize-winning Architect at Princeton."

University of Richmond, (June 20, 2007), author biography.

[Sketch reviewed by assistant, Patricia Price.]

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