James Ingo Freed FAIA
James Ingo Freed, a partner from 1980 until his death in 2005, was responsible for some of the firm’s best-known buildings of those years, most notably the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Other well-known works by Mr. Freed include the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, also in Washington; the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York; the Los Angeles Convention Center Expansion; and San Francisco Main Public Library.
Mr. Freed was born in Essen, Germany, in 1930 and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1939, eventually settling in Chicago. He received his architectural degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1953 and worked in the office of Mies van der Rohe before joining I. M. Pei & Associates in 1956.
Early works in which Mr. Freed played a leading design role include Kips Bay Plaza (1963) and University Plaza (1967), both large-scale residential projects in Manhattan. He also contributed significantly to the prototypical designs for fifty FAA air traffic control towers, executed in the late 1960s in cities across the country and abroad.
Mr. Freed’s diverse portfolio ranges from civic, cultural, and academic buildings to residential complexes and office towers. Among the most notable of the latter are 88 Pine Street in New York’s Financial District (1973); 499 Park Avenue, in Midtown Manhattan (1981); and First Bank Place, one of the three towers that define the skyline of downtown Minneapolis (1992). Other major projects include Roman L. Hruska United States Courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska (2000); Broad Center for the Biological Sciences at California Institute of Technology (2002); and the United States Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia (2006).
Throughout his career, Mr. Freed was engaged in urban design and large-scale urban development. In addition to his built works, he was responsible for a number of significant unexecuted urban developments, most notably the restoration and expansion of the Ferry Building Complex in San Francisco; Mission Bay, a 195-acre mixed-use development on former rail yards a mile from downtown San Francisco; and St. George Place, a high-rise residential community on the Staten Island waterfront, designed before the creation of Battery Park City to complement the Manhattan skyline.
An influential educator, Mr. Freed returned to IIT in 1975 for a three-year stint as dean of the School of Architecture. He also held teaching appointments at Columbia, Cornell, Yale, Cooper Union, and the Rhode Island School of Design. In recognition of his contributions to both architecture and academia, was awarded honorary degrees from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
In addition to the many major awards conferred on his buildings, Mr. Freed personally received wide acclaim from his profession. Among the most notable honors bestowed on him were the R. S. Reynolds Memorial Award for Excellence in Architecture; the Arnold W. Brunner Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and the first annual Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, conferred for lifetime achievement by the American Institute of Architects. He received the National Medal of Arts from the the National Endowment for the Arts.
A fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Freed was elected to membership in the American Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as a director of the Regional Plan Association of New York-New Jersey-Connecticut and was architectural commissioner of the Art Commission of New York City from 1983 to 1991.