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Harrison, Wallace Kirkman

Harrison, Wallace Kirkman (1895–1981). American architect, he formed one of the most successful practices in the USA. With Raymond Hood and others he worked on the Rockefeller Center, NYC (1929–33), and was joined by Abramovitz in 1941. As Harrison, André Fouilhoux, and Abramovitz, the firm expanded the Rockefeller Center, work continuing until 1974. After Fouilhoux's death (1945), the firm became Harrison & Abramovitz and, with Le Corbusier, Niemeyer, and Markelius, designed the United Nations Headquarters, NYC (1947–53), with the Secretariat, one of the city's first curtain-walled skyscrapers. Then came the Corning Glass Center and Administrative Building, Corning, NY (1955–6), followed by the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building, Hartford, CT (1960–4). A much more formal style was adopted for the Lincoln Center, (NYC 1959–66), with its Metropolitan Opera House and Philharmonic (now Avery Fisher) Hall: the building is clad in travertine, and the style is an extremely stripped minimalist type that cannot really be called Neo-Classical. The gigantic South Mall, Albany, NY (1963–78), was supposedly influenced by the Dalai Lama's Palace at Lhasa, Tibet.

Bibliography

Koolhaas (1978);
Krinsky (1978);
Newhouse (1989);
Stem et al. (1995);
E. Young (1980)

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Harrison, Wallace Kirkman

Wallace Kirkman Harrison, 1895–1981, American architect and city planner, b. Worcester, Mass. Harrison designed the Trylon and Perisphere, the structures that came to symbolize the 1939 New York World's Fair. In 1945 he entered into partnership with Max Abramowitz (1908–2004), who was later famed for his design of Philharmonic Hall (later renamed Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Columbia Univ. law school (both: 1962). Harrison was responsible for numerous large buildings, such as those for Alcoa in Pittsburgh (1952) and the Time-Life (1960) and Exxon (1973) buildings, both in New York City. He was probably the most effective large-scale coordinator in American architecture. His projects included Rockefeller Center, the UN Headquarters (1947–53), and the World's Fair of 1964 in New York City and the South Mall (1963–78) in Albany, N.Y.

See biography by V. Newhouse (1989).

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