Stanley Tigerman, Renowned Chicago Architect, Dies at 88


Chicago-born architect Stanley Tigerman died Monday in Chicago. He was 88 years old.

“Another giant of our time in architecture is gone,” tweeted architecture writer Paul Goldberger, who went on to praise Tigerman’s “wit, warmth, earnestness and passion for architecture and for Chicago, and most of all for what the combination of architecture and Chicago could mean for our time.”

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Tigerman’s widow and business partner, architect Margaret McCurry, told the Journal of the American Institute of Architects that Tigerman died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Tigerman was as famous for his personality as he was for his buildings, private homes and public buildings that showed post-modernism’s tendency for humor, irreverence and invention. His work includes the Illinois Holocaust Memorial Museum and Education Center in Skokie; and in River North, the Anti-Cruelty Society and Hard Rock Café. He had strong opinions about all matters architectural, and spoke bluntly, and often crudely, about architecture.

A graduate of Yale, his contemporaries and friends included Chicago architects Thomas Beeby, Stuart Cohen and Larry Booth, and national luminaries Robert A.M. Stern, Frank Gehry and Peter Eisenman. Along with Cohen, Beeby and Booth, among others, Tigerman organized the Chicago Seven, later the Chicago Eleven, a group that staged art exhibitions attacking modernism. Chicago, and its younger architects, were treated to entertaining dialectical battles in the press, making architecture seem downright fun. 

Tigerman was the director of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the 1990s, published seven books, including a children’s book he co-authored with McCurry titled “Dorothy in Dreamland.” He was also celebrated for his drawings, and founded the nonprofit design lab Archeworks with designer Eva Maddox.

Tigerman was a regular guest on WTTW, interviewed by John Calloway, Phil Ponce, Geoffrey Baer and others. He received awards from the American Institute of Architects and the city of Chicago.

Tigerman is survived by McCurry, two children from a prior marriage and four grandchildren.


Related stories:

Architecture Tells its Own Story at the Illinois Holocaust Museum

Stanley Tigerman to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Renowned Architect Robert A.M. Stern Builds His First Chicago Tower


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