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March 22, 2017
by AIA New York Chapter
Hugh Hardy at the New York Academy of Sciences. Credit: Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA.
Hugh Hardy in a video still from a trailer for his 2013 book, Theater of Architecture. Credit: H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture.
Lincoln Center’s renovation project and Claire Tow Theater. Credit: H3 Hardy Collaboration Architects.

New York architect Hugh Hardy, FAIA, Founding Partner, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, died this week at age 84. His career left an indelible imprint on the city, including iconic venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Radio City Music Hall, the Rainbow Room, New Victory Theater, and many more. Hardy spearheaded design and architecture at Lincoln Center Theater beginning in 1985 up to and including the award-winning Claire Tow on the roof of Eero Saarinen’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. Additionally, Hardy founded Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates in the 1970s, expanding his sphere of work as far as the Columbus Occupational Health Association in Indiana, which won an AIA Honor Award in 1976.

In 2015, Hardy’s firm won a 2015 AIANY Architecture Merit Award for BAM’s Theater for a New Audience at Polonksy Shakespeare Center. Bringing the architect’s hand into the future, Hardy’s $7.3-million master plan for the reinvention of the New Victory Theater’s lobby spaces will open later this year.

The architecture community has expressed how much they value Hardy’s influence and how much they will miss him, including the following comments AIANY has received over email. We welcome all to share memories of Hugh Hardy in the comments section below.

Read Hardy’s full obituary here.

“My favorite Hugh quote was when he would recite The Optimist Creed:

As you ramble on through life, brother,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole.

Once in a while, when the office received bad news, he would recite this. It’s in my signed copy of Theatre of Architecture.”
—Steven Stainbrook, AICP, Principal, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture

“As an architect, Hugh Hardy was unfettered by the conventional and expected; he was a master at creating (and restoring and adapting) spaces that are vivid, dramatic, alive. As a New Yorker, he defined the idea of civic. The long list of organizations and institutions he was associated with, and even more importantly, how much of his enthusiasm and time and critical intelligence he gave to all those organizations, including The Architectural League, is profound evidence of his generous character and unwavering commitment to the future.”
—Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, Architectural League of New York

“What a giant, what a gentleman, and what a brilliant contributor to the city (not to mention a reliably eloquent interviewee). This is a massive loss.”
—Bill Millard, writer, editor

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