Biography

Abridged Chronology

1913 born, Chicago, IL
1930-
1932
attends Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
1932-
1933
attends Bauhaus (Berlin), works in Mies' office
1934-
1937
works in Chicago architectural offices of George and Fred Keck, Paul Schweiker, and Howard Fisher
1937 opens his own office, starts single family residences - Abrams, Mullins, Ancell.
1938 North Pole Ice Cream Store, Clark Maple Gasoline Station, Jacobs residence
1939-
1943
Standard Houses in Maryland and Illinois with Gilmer Black
1946 Marries Nancy Florsheim. Prefab bathrooms. Establishes Standard Fabrication Co.
1950-
1953
Consulting architect to Pressed Steel Car Co. for Unicel and Unishelter
1952 Snyder House, NY
1954 Kansas City Apartment Project Award, Progressive Architecture
1954-
1955
Drexel Gardens, IL
1956-
1967
Michael Todd's Cinestage Theatre, IL
1960 Marina City construction starts
1963 Astor Tower completed. Maxim's de Paris opens. Brenneman School, IL. ABC Tower proposal, NY.
1964 Marina City Office Building completed
1965-
1976
Health Science Center, Stonybrook, NY
1966 Master plan, Affiliated Hospital Center, MA.
1967 Hilliard Center, public housing, IL. Elgin Hospital, IL. West Palm Beach Auditorium, FL. Marina City Theater completed.
1969 San Diego Theater proposal, CA
1969-
1974
St. Joseph Hospital, WA
1970 Trinidad Master Plan, Venezuela
1974 Prentice Women's Hospital, IL, and Dana Cancer Center, MA
1979 Night World proposal, FL
1982 Good Samaritan Hospital, AZ
1982-
1987
Providence Hospital, AL
1983 Brigham and Women's Hospital, MA
1984 Floating Worlds's Fair, Chicago, IL
1986 River City, IL
1992 Wright College, IL
1997 deceased, Chicago, IL

For more information see the Project Timeline »

Bertrand Goldberg was born in Chicago in 1913. He grew up in Chicago and attended Harvard College in 1930 for two years before leaving for The Bauhaus in Germany. He worked briefly in the office of Mies van der Rohe.

Goldberg returned to Chicago in 1933, and worked for the Keck brothers. In 1937, Goldberg opened his own office.

During World War II, Goldberg worked for the government and developed portable medical labs and gun crates. After the war, he formed a partnership with Leland Atwood, which lasted through the early 1950’s, when Goldberg started the firm of Bertrand Goldberg Associates.

A young Bertrand Goldberg in his Chicago office, 1950s.

A young Bertrand Goldberg in his Chicago office, 1950s.

Early in his career Goldberg focused on single family residences and industrial design work. His last single family residence was completed in the 1950′s. Throughout the 1950′s, his design proposals covered a broad spectrum: union halls, art centers, office buildings, and residential developments. In 1957, Goldberg built Drexel Gardens on the south side of Chicago, an award winning project.

In 1959, Goldberg started work on Marina City. This project, the seminal work of his career, was finished in 1967. At the same time, another major commission, Astor Tower Hotel, was started.

Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, the office of Bertrand Goldberg Associates grew significantly – including in-house engineering and computer software development. Design work focused on numerous large scale hospitals and other major institutional projects up until 1992. Parallel work on urban projects was more exploratory and speculative, and culminated in River City, a successful mixed use development on the Chicago River completed in 1986. The office’s last major built work was Wright College, completed in 1992. Bertrand Goldberg died in 1997.

River City

An aerial rendering of River City
At top: Bertrand Goldberg poses with a model of the original River City towers