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Notable Oregonians: Pietro Belluschi - Architect

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Pietro Belluschi

Pietro Belluschi, 1899-1994

Pietro Belluschi was born in Ancona, Italy in 1899. He trained as an engineer at both the University of Rome and at Cornell University, emigrating to the U.S. in 1923. After working as a mining engineer, he joined the Portland, Oregon based architecture firm of A. E. Doyle. Belluschi acted as chief designer with A. E. Doyle for several years before becoming a partner in 1933. He assumed control of the firm under his own name in 1943.

 

During his years in Portland, Belluschi designed several commercial buildings in the evolving International Style. Although his commercial designs owed much to the International Style, his domestic and religious work showed a preference for regional traditions and native materials. While contemporary firms rejected tradition, Doyle's office maintained a strong Beaux Arts tradition.

 

From 1951 to 1965, Belluschi acted as Dean of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his fifty years of practice, both in Portland and in Massachusetts, Belluschi designed over 1000 buildings. Among his works in Portland are the Sutor House (1938), the Equitable Building (1948), considered to be the first glass curtain-wall structure in the United States, and Zion Lutheran Church (1950). His other well-known buildings (some in association with other architects) include the Portland Art Museum (1931); the Boston and Keystone buildings, Boston; the Bank of America World Headquarters, San Francisco (1969); and the Juilliard School, Lincoln Center, New York City (1969). In 1972 he received the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects.

 

Belluschi died in 1994.

 

(Sources: Great Buildings Online | Encyclopædia Britannica) Revised 1/2013

 

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