by: AIA New York
Warren Gran, FAIA, died Sunday, February 17 at age 85 in Los Angeles.
Gran, who practiced in New York City for over 45 years, devoted his career to affordable housing, sustainability, and social responsibility. He worked on supportive housing for the homeless and those suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems, as well as the design and renovation of dozens of schools and public agency facilities including the Lighthouse Charter School and the innovative Michelangelo Apartments in the Bronx; PS 395, PS 78, and PS14 (an AIANY Design Award winner) in Queens; PS 109 and the St. Chirstopher Ottilie Residential Treatment Facility in Brooklyn; and multiple projects for the Bank Street College of Education. One of his most significant projects was the award-winning conversion of the Brooklyn Family Court building on Adams Street into a public high school for Law and Justice.
Gran was also devoted to historic preservation. He renovated the interior of John Rochester Thomas’ 1907 Manhattan Surrogate Court, as well as the Manhattan Appelate Court, the Queens Supreme Court, and the Pratt Library in collaboration with Giorgio Cavaglieri. He also restored his own historic home, a 1890s Brooklyn Brownstone he purchased in 1971. Gran designed private homes all over the Northeast. He built his own house in Ghent, NY.
A professor at Pratt Institute from 1966 to 2003, Gran also served as chairperson of the Graduate Program in Urban Design and Acting Dean of the School of Architecture. His work has been shown at MoMA, The Chicago Athenaeum, and the Architectural League of New York. He was a member of the AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Born in 1933, Gran grew up in New Jersey and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Penn State in 1956 and received a Masters in Planning from Pratt. He served as a Lt. J.G. in the US Navy aboard the USS Ticonderoga from 1956 to 1959. In New York, he worked for various firms including Ed Larrabee Barnes before founding his own firm in 1965. Warren was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1994.
Gran loved his family, playing tennis, and working on his land in Ghent. He gave to many wildlife and forest preservation causes. He is survived by two daughters, designer Eliza Gran and novelist Sara Gran, as well as three grandchildren: Violet Phillips, 19; Ruby Phillips, 17 and Charles Wolf Phillips, 14.