Happy 78th birthday to Robert A. M. Stern, the scholar, teacher and architect who turned tradition into a successful enterprise, translating the essence of the American architectural heritage into the most lucrative buildings of our time. Former Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Stern has emerged as a starchitect over the past two decades, and is the recipient of the AIA’s 2017 Topaz Medallion Award. He is the only one who succeeded to move Postmodernism from its short-lived trendy, and somewhat temporary chapter into a 21st-century commodity, paying homage to the great apartment houses of 1920s New York and to Victorian Shingle Style houses, and putting the genuine American design on the international map. While other architects have been celebrated for creating skyscrapers which are dramatic, cutting-edge, sculptural, while crafting a new skyline for the Big Apple, he has constantly offered buildings which are solid, quite, and familiar. When building 15 Central Park West, he looked at the city’s most luxurious buildings of the 20s, the River House and those along Park Avenue, substantiating the theory of his mentor, legendary teacher Vincent J. Scully’s about the essence of American architecture. Against all odds, he was able to bring traditional architecture deep into the academia, and put a stamp of gloss and luxury on the most traditional architecture, while his shingle style homes have become the most sought-after style in luxurious summer homes. Happy Birthday, Robert A. M. Stern.
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