Architect Bernard Zimmerman dies at 79

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Architect Bernard Zimmerman dies at 79

Postby nichols » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:04 pm

Our beloved Bernard Zimmerman, FAIA, peacefully passed away on Thursday, June 4th. His family cordially invites you to be present at Bernard's funeral service. The service will commence on Monday, June 8th at 12 noon at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive,
Los Angeles, CA.

Following the service, you are invited to a reception to celebrate Bernards legacy at Temple Sinai of Glendale, 1212 N. Pacific Avenue, Glendale, CA. Food will be provided at the reception.

Bernard Zimmerman: The Conscience of the Architectural Profession

Bernard Zimmerman, FAIA, Architect, Planner and esteemed Professor of Architectural Design at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Department of Architecture of which he was a founder, passed away on June 4th, after a long illness, at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79.

In honor of his "selfless and relentless love of architecture and design excellence, and the tremendous effect, over many decades, of that passion on the life and culture of Los Angeles, its architects, students and its architecture," the American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles recognized Zimmerman's many contributions by honoring him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, in 1999. By way of introduction, Ray Kappe, FAIA, Founder of the Southern California Institute of Architecture SCI-ARC, stated: "During the last 50 years no architect has been as concerned about the state of architecture in our city as Bernard. No one has been more concerned about the education of our future architects than Bernard. Throughout his lifetime, he has unsparingly donated his time and energy to further and promote the professional status of American architects and architecture, particularly Los Angeles architects and their architecture."

Bernard Zimmerman was a leading practitioner of architecture for over 40 years. He was president of Zimmerman Architects and Planners, and was a partner in the Collaborative for Environmental Design, Pulliam Zimmerman & Matthews, Zimmerman & Robbins Architects and Zimmerman/Stafford Architects. He was previously associated with Richard Neutra Architects, Welton Beckett & Associates, Victor Gruen Associates and Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall. Mr. Zimmerman was involved with a wide range of architectural and city planning projects including: the IBM Pavilion, Osaka, Japan; Citrus restaurant, Los Angeles; Twin Towers, Century City; Bunker Hill, Los Angeles; Old Town Pasadena; Olympic Building, Los Angeles; Sunset and Vine Tower, Hollywood; Case Study House #29, Silverlake; Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles. He made a special contribution in the area of chain stores such as Zeidler & Zeidler Men's Stores and Standard Shoes, by elevating the level of design, architecturally and graphically. His work has been published in national and international design reviews such as "Arts & Architecture", "Architectural Record", "Domus", "L'Arca" and "Progressive Architecture".

Throughout his career, Bernard Zimmerman vigorously expressed his social and design concerns through dialogue with national and international architects and organizations, an active involvement on a local and national level with the American Institute of Architects, and numerous community projects. He created and directed the AIA "Architectural Panel" in the 1950's, the first organization to offer exciting and important public programs in Los Angeles. Through the 1960's, he chaired the AIA Program Committee. The most important program he created was the "Masters of Architecture" lecture series, founded in 1991. It is held annually at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and is a very successful collaboration between LACMA and AIA/LA, to which the public is invited.

In 1999 he conceived the "9 in 99" Conference held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), featuring outstanding architectural thinkers, sharing "Big Ideas" for Los Angeles.

He was a board member of "Architects, Designers & Planners for Social Responsibility", and founder of "Architecture for Peace". He successfully provided leadership and generated support for countless committee initiatives to benefit threatened Los Angeles landmarks, such as the Angels Flight, the Dodge House, Hazard Park, Marshall High School, the Hollywood Sign, the Schindler Kings Road House and the Watts Towers. The "Citizens Committee to Build the Disney Concert Hall" which he spearheaded provided the incentive for the subsequent successful fund raising campaign.

Exhibitions on the work of Los Angeles architects and designers, conceived and directed by Bernard Zimmerman include: "Roots of California Architecture", "Irving Gill Architect", "Felix Candela Architect & Engineer", "Project Environment USA", "74 + 74: Best in the West", "Los Angeles 12", "L.A. 12+12+2", "L.A. 12+12+12", "Los Angeles: City on the Move", "100 Projects/100 Years" and "101 New Blood". These exhibitions were shown at venues such as the Milan Triennale in Italy, Pacific Design Center and the Yale University School of Art and Architecture Gallery. In the more recent exhibits, working with a younger generation of architects and designers, helping them to organize exhibits of their architecture, he had the amazing ability to inspire and energize them as he had energized his students throughout his years of teaching, which was so important to him.

A graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Architecture, Bernard Zimmerman was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He completed his Masters in Planning at the University of Southern California (USC). He was a member of the American Planning Association and of USC's Architectural Guild that honored him in 2003 as "a Distinguished Alumnus who has enriched and honored the profession of Architecture". He was recognized by Mayor Tom Bradley for his architectural, planning and exhibit work. He was interviewed on PBS by Maya Angelou on the state of architecture and urban design in 1975, for the series "Humanities Through the Arts". As a founder of the Architecture for Peace, he traveled to Russia on a Peace Mission in 1978 and was subsequently honored with an invitation to the White House for the celebration of the Peace Accord between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachov. In 1995, he was inducted as one of Pacific Design Center's "Stars of Design". The Los Angeles Institute of Architecture & Design (LAIAD) that opened in 2001 was also co-founded by Bernard Zimmerman. One of the last Zimmerman inspired ideas was to establish the Architecture + Design Museum, located across the street from LACMA.

Bernard Zimmerman was an irreplaceable human being, who has touched so many of our lives. He will be greatly missed, and forever remembered as a passionate advocate for the profession.

The funeral will be held at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park, 5950 Forrest Lawn Drive, in Griffith Park, on Monday, June 8th at 12:00 noon. A memorial is also being planned, to be announced.

Bernard Zimmerman is survived by his sons Eric, Josef and Derek; their wives Adela, Mamie, and Tamara; his daughter, Karla, her husband, Tom; his six grandchildren Katelyn, Kimberly, Kassandra, Thomas, Siren and Elijah; and a host of loving friends.

Interview with Bernard Zimmerman from Volume 5 ... an_in.html

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Postby PaulKaplan » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:54 am

Wow- Just saw this post. Bernard was one of my instructors at Cal Poly Architecture school! He was certainly a unique professor and an icon of the college!

I"m sure he'll be missed.
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Postby scottkaycee » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:33 am

Wow, I had been away for a while and popped in re: Shulman's passing, and now I see Bernard passed too. Another loss. Bernard was such a neat man, It's sad to hear he is gone. I had him briefly as a teacher, but he took ill at the time and someone subbed for him to finish the course. When he recovered he saw me walking around and confronted me "Oh, i'd like to see your project.. " I hadnt done too great on it, so I hedged, he was dissapointed that I didnt have my portfolio with me at that very moment(I was actually on the way to the bathroom), like the Perry White scene from the Superman movies "A photographer sleeps with his camera, eats with his camera", I guess an Architecture student should do the same with their portfolio. I was working the Design Library when he came in one day, there was going to be a big Neutra event, he told me "you ought to docent..." So I did. He was tireless about promoting Architectural education. But he was also a funny guy, his obituary seemed so devoid of his personality. He would wander around the studios almost like a ghost , if it interested him he'd stay, if not he'd get up and leave, even his own classes, he was very curious and he was completely open and honest, he would speak his mind no matter what. he could be very self-introspective. You can get a taste of it in that Volume 5 interview. He even questions whether he did any good in a lifetime of education, I like to think he did. He was intimidating, but often my encounters with him were memorable and ultimately I appreciated them. I remember he wore a black tuxedo with a black T-Shirt, not a black suit, a tux, with a satin stripe on the pant leg and a Tux jacket. It seemed strange but then I read about Neutra wearing neckties with pajamas and sort of got the connection. In my Shulman post I told the tale of a ride I gave them to Cal Poly. Another memorable encounter. He sat in the back with my future wife, she had an interesting silver bracelet, we were both Arch students so it had a Architectural bent to it. He took an interest in it and wanted to buy it from her on the spot, he was rather insistent, said he had the cash. She didnt want to part with it. I truely believe my education was richer because of his contributions.
How about a career in Architecture?

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