Kahn, Ely Jacques

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Kahn, Ely Jacques (1884–1972). American architect. Educated in NYC and the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, he later became a partner in the firm of Buchman & Fox, NYC, in 1919 (subsequently Buchman & Kahn, and later still (1942) Kahn & Jacobs). He designed several Art Deco skyscrapers in NYC in the 1920s and 1930s. Among his best-known works are 2 Park Avenue (1924–7—with external treatment designed with L. V. Solon (1872–1953) ), the Insurance Center Building (1926–7), the Bergdorf Goodman Store Building (1926–7), the Film Center Building (1928–9), the Squibb Building (1928–9), and 1400 and 1410 Broadway (1930–1), all of high quality. The entrance-lobbies in the office buildings at the corner of 29th street and Fifth Avenue (c.1929) and 2 Park Avenue were particularly fine examples of his Art Deco style. His buildings were well organized, and technically advanced. From the 1950s the office, run on very efficient lines, turned from the verve and inventiveness of exuberant Art Deco to conformity with International Modernism. The firm executed (and partially planned) the Seagram Building, NYC, designed by Mies van der Rohe (1954–8—with Philip Johnson). Cultivated and with wide interests, Kahn published several works, including Design in Art and Industry (1935) and A Building Goes Up (1969).


Architecture, lxiv (1931), 65–70;
C. Benton et al. (eds.) (2003);
Bletter & and Robinson (1975);
Bollack & Killian (eds.) (1995);
Duncan (1988);
Kalman (1994);
E. Kahn (1935, 1969);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Jane Turner (1996)