Luckman, Pereira, and Ike

I like to say that Charles Luckman, the architect of the Prudential Center in Boston, is the most important postwar American architect that you’ve never heard of.  In the 1960s he ran one of the largest firms in the country and was responsible for many large-scale urban development projects, including the Madison Square Garden and Pennsylvania Station redevelopment of 1965 (after the landmark McKim, Mead & White structure was taken down by the Pennsylvania Railroad to maximize its profits on the site).

Before they parted ways, Luckman was paired with the design architect William Pereira.  (There is more on this in the book!)  This picture — from the Charles Luckman Papers, circa 1955 — indicates the prestige that the firm enjoyed in the 1950s.  Here the architectural duo of Charles Luckman and William Pereira meet President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Pereira looks a bit stiff — he may have been more comfortable wearing a smock and sitting at the drafting table — but Luckman is at ease speaking with the President.  Pereira & Luckman were doing a lot of work for the U.S. Government in the 1950s, including a series of air force and naval bases both in the United States and Abroad.  P & L were the planners and designers of Edwards Airforce Base in California, the NASA space facility in Cape Canaveral, and the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

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2 thoughts on “Luckman, Pereira, and Ike

  1. I love this image! I’m organizing an exhibition of William Pereira’s work at the Nevada Museum of Art–if you could share with me the citation for this image, I’d love to be able to include it in the catalogue and a timeline of his work. Thanks!

    • Colin,
      Sorry for the delay, I don’t manage my blogs as diligently as I should. Best to email me at elihu.rubin@yale.edu. This image is from the Charles Luckman Papers, which I located in the basement of the Luckman Plaza in Los Angeles and arranged their donation to the Leavey Center for the Study of the City of Los Angeles as Loyola College in LA. All Best, Elihu

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