Gerald I. Schiff, AIA Emeritus

In Memoriam: Gerald I. Schiff, AIA Emeritus

Gerald I. Schiff, AIA Emeritus, of Larchmont, NY passed away 11.28.14 at the age of 88. Gerry Schiff was a lead designer at Harrison and Abramovitz, and managing partner at Abramovitz, Kingsland, Schiff. His innovative designs include the U.S. Steel Building in Pittsburgh, PA; Assembly Hall, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (AIA National Award of Merit); AT&T Bell System Pavilion, 1964-65 NY World’s Fair; and Spingold Theatre and Rosenstiel Medical Sciences Laboratory at Brandeis University. He was managing partner and designer of the Rosenstiel Oceanographic Institute, University of Miami; the Sachar International Center, and Farber Library, Brandeis University; The John and David Rockefeller Research Building, Rockefeller University; Centers for Molecular Medicine, SUNY Stony Brook; and deep-sea research laboratories on the vessels Glomar Explorer, Resolution, and Nathaniel Palmer. He designed the National Park Service Cinnamon Bay Commissary and Guest Huts on St. John, USVI, as well as many private residences. During WWII, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University and Bachelor of Architecture degree from North Carolina State University, where he studied with Mathew Nowicki, George Matsumoto, and James Fitzgibbon. Acting on Buckminster Fuller’s advice to further his knowledge of the latest technological innovations in light-weight structures, including thin shell and monocoque design, he found work with Sikorsky and Republic Aviation, participating in the design of helicopters and the F105 jet fighter. He was a visiting instructor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a visiting critic at Washington University School of Architecture, St. Louis. He performed pro-bono work for Hamilton Madison House, and was for many years a guest juror at the National Institute for Architectural Education (NIAE) for the William Van Alen and Dinkerloo design competitions. He served on the Larchmont Planning Board, volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America, and served as chairperson of the AIA New York Chapter Brunner Fellowship Committee. Gerry was truly passionate about the profession and felt extremely gratified by the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals, both clients and fellow professionals. In his memory, donations may be made to support basic science cancer research at the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU School of Medicine.

Michael Schiff, AIA, LEED AP, son of Gerald I. Schiff, AIA Emeritus, is a Senior Project Manager at AECOM.