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Edward Durell Stone, Legendary Architect

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Architect Edward Durell Stone was both celebrated and scorned, and led a life that was both triumphant and embittered. Among his iconic projects are The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. His son, Hicks Stone, discusses the controversial figure in 20th-century architecture, and his new biography, Edward Durell Stone: A Son's Untold Story of a Legendary Architect.

Stone Office Archives
Edward Durell Stone. U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India – Main Entry.

Stone’s 1955 design for the embassy building program administered by the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Buildings Office brought Stone world-wide attention.

Stone Office Archives
Edward Durell Stone. U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India – Atrium.

Stone almost invariably integrated fountains with his architecture; this is one of the more prominent examples.

Stone Office Archives
Edward Durell Stone. Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology.

Built under President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program, ironically this facility, designed by Stone in 1961, became the training center for the scientists that produced Pakistan’s nuclear devices.

Stone Office Archives
Edward Durell Stone. SUNY Albany.

One of the largest architectural projects of the era, the State University of New York at Albany was the centerpiece of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s state university program. Designed in 1961, the campus was initially built for an enrollment of 10,000 students.

Stone Office Archives
Edward Durell Stone. JFK Center.

Stone presents his model for the National Cultural Center to President John F. Kennedy in October 1963. The center was later named in honor of the slain President.

Stone Family Archives
Edward Durell Stone. Arch of Titus – Rome.

Stone was a highly skilled draftsman and water colorist. This is his sketch of the Arch of Titus in Rome done during his tour of Europe from 1927 to 1929.

Stone Family Archives
Edward Durell Stone. Orsanmichele - Florence.

This is his water color of the Orsanmichele done during his tour of Europe from 1927 to 1929.

Stone Family Archives
Edward Durell Stone Sketching in Sicily – 1959.

A picture of Stone sketching at the ancient Greek temple of Agrigento in Sicily.

Guests:

Hicks Stone

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Comments [1]

Joel from Nyack, NY

Over the years I have looked at a lot of architecture, beginning as a graduate student at Cranbrook Academy of Art. When I consider the body of Stone's work I sometimes think that maybe he was bi-polar, doing some excellent work on one hand and some terrible work on the other. The Pepsi headquarters in Purchase, NY being an example of some of his best work and the Huntington Hartford Museum in NYC an example of his worst.

Dec. 22 2011 01:20 PM

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