Bertrand Goldberg Associates, the Office

Abridged Chronology

1913 born, Chicago, IL
attends Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
attends Bauhaus (Berlin), works in Mies' office
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
Standard Houses in Maryland and Illinois with Gilmer Black
1946 Marries Nancy Florsheim. Prefab bathrooms. Establishes Standard Fabrication Co.
Consulting architect to Pressed Steel Car Co. for Unicel and Unishelter
1952 Snyder House, NY
1954 Kansas City Apartment Project Award, Progressive Architecture
Drexel Gardens, IL
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
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
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
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 »

BGA Staff, 1987

BGA Staff, 1987. Bertrand Goldberg can be seen in the center of the first row. Two of Goldberg’s close associates are also present in the front row, Dick Binfield on his left, and Ben Honda on the far right.

Bertrand Goldberg maintained a working office from 1937 until his death in 1997. His firm, Bertrand Goldberg Associates, was in operation from 1952 until 1997.

From 1937 until 1950 Goldberg worked primarily alone. In 1950 Goldberg partnered with Leland Atwood in the firm Atwood and Goldberg. This partnership was dissolved in 1952, and the office of Bertrand Goldberg Associates was established shortly thereafter. Early promotional material emphasized the offices strengths in engineering, technological innovation, and construction management, and employed a full-time industrial modelmaker.

Golberg and colleagues

Golberg (at right) and colleagues with a full-size mockup of Marina City, 1962. Notice the photomontage of a tower on the right.

When design of Marina City was started (c. 1959), the office had about 10 people, and during construction in the early 1960’s, it expanded to over thirty people. At that time, Goldberg hired key staff members Ed Center, Dick Binfield, Ben Honda, and Al Goers, who remained with him for many years thereafter as the core team of his firm. Structural engineering was added at that time as well, first with Bert Weinberg, and later with Frank Kornacker and Ludwig Steiner as chief engineers. The office moved into Marina City in 1963.

By the 1970s BGA had offices in Boston and, briefly, in Palo Alto, California. Through the 1970s BGA grew to over one hundred people with full computer facilities and engineering in-house.

From the 1970′s through the 1980′s, BGA focused mainly on designing and building numerous large scale healthcare and educational facilities. Other innovative urban projects were designed, such as Night World and River City, of which only River City was built. BGA’s last major built work, Wright College, was started in 1985 and completed in 1992.

Goldberg died in 1997 and Bertrand Goldberg Associates was closed shortly thereafter.