Gruen, Victor, 1903-1980

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1903-07-18
Death 1980-02-14
US
English, German

Biographical notes:

Victor Gruen (1903-1980) was born Victor David Gruenbaum in Vienna, Austria. He worked as an architect in Vienna until 1938 when he emigrated to the U.S. to escape World War II. He first worked as a set and store designer in New York City and then established Victor Gruen Associates, one of the nation's leading architectural, planning and engineering firms. Gruen Associates designed the first regional shopping center, the Northland Shopping Center in Detroit in 1954 and the first fully enclosed shopping center, Southdale Shopping Center near Minneapolis in 1956. Gruen retired in 1967 and wrote extensively on urban planning and urban sprawl, including "Shopping Towns USA" (1960), "The Heart of Our Cities" (1964) and "Centers for the Urban Environment" (1973).

From the description of Papers, 1933-1980. (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 28776788

Victor Gruen was born Victor David Grünbaum in 1903 in Vienna, Austria; attended the Architectural School and the Academy of Arts in Vienna, where he developed a private practice; moved to New York in 1938, working for the Ivels Corporation and in the office of Norman Bel Geddes; formed a design partnership with Elsie Krummeck (1940-48); settled in Los Angeles, where he established Victor Gruen Associates in 1951; designed shopping centers, including Northland Center in Detroit and Southdale Center in Minneapolis; also designed The Mall in Fresno, CA and Midtown Plaza, Rochester, NY (1962), the first inner-city enclosed mall, and Sea World, San Diego (1968); Fellow, American Institute of Architects; he died on Feb. 14, 1980.

From the description of Collection, 1952-1968. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 39743927

Designer, architect, and urban planner. Born in Vienna, Austria, as Victor David Grünbaum. Changed name after emigrating to the United States in 1938. Returned to Vienna in 1967, where he died in 1980.

From the description of Victor Gruen papers, 1886-1991 (bulk 1960-1980). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70983428

Biographical Note

  • 1903, July 18: Born Victor David Grünbaum, Vienna, Austria
  • 1918 - 1925 : Attended Vienna Technical Institute and Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria
  • 1923 - 1932 : Designer with Melcher & Steiner, Architects, Vienna, Austria
  • 1930: Married Alice Kardos (divorced 1941)
  • 1932 - 1938 : Independent designer, Vienna, Austria
  • 1938: United States United States Emigrated to United States Changed name to Victor Gruen
  • 1938 - 1948 : Independent designer, New York, N.Y.
  • 1939: New York, N.Y. New York City Chelsea New York Founded Gruen & Krummeck Partnership, New York, N.Y. New York, N.Y. New York City Chelsea New York Designed Lederer de Paris department store, New York, N.Y.
  • 1939 - 1940 : Produced two Broadway shows with Refugee Artists Group, New York, N.Y.
  • 1941: Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Moved main office to Los Angeles, Calif. Married Elsie Krummeck (divorced 1951)
  • 1943: United States United States Became a citizen of the United States Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Rudi Baumfeld joined Gruen & Krummeck Partnership, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • 1944: Karl Van Leuven joined Gruen & Krummeck Partnership, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • 1948: Westchester, Calif. Westchester Desinged Milliron's department store, Westchester, Calif. Received first license to practice architecture
  • 1949: Published How to Live with Your Architect (New York, N.Y.: Store Modernization Institute. 32 pp.)
  • 1950: Founded Victor Gruen Associates (later Gruen Associates), Los Angeles, Calif. Edgardo Contini joined Gruen Associates as partner
  • 1951: Married Lazette E. McCormick Van Houten (died in 1962)
  • 1954: Detroit, Mich. Detroit Designed Northland Center, Detroit, Mich. Detroit, Mich. Detroit Received American Institute of Architects National Award of Merit (Northland Center, Detroit, Mich.)
  • 1956: Minneapolis, Minn. Minneapolis Designed Southdale Center, Minneapolis, Minn. Detroit, Mich. Detroit Received Progressive Architecture Design Award for Urban Redevelopment (Detroit, Mich.) Ben Southland joined Gruen Associates as partner
  • 1957: Fort Worth, Tex. Fort Worth Received Progressive Architecture Design Award for Planning (Fort Worth, Tex.) Herman Guttman joined Gruen Associates as partner
  • 1958: Washington, D.C. Washington, D. C. District of Columbia Designed 1964 world's fair proposal, Washington, D.C. Kalamazoo, Mich. Kalamazoo Designed downtown plan, Kalamazoo, Mich. Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Received Progressive Architecture Design Award for Residential Design (Wilshire Terrace, Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • 1959: Received Progressive Architecture Design Award for Urban Design (Boston, Mass.)
  • 1960: Rochester, N.Y. Rochester Designed Midtown Plaza, Rochester, N.Y. Published Shopping Towns USA, The Planning of Shopping Centers, with Larry Smith (New York, N.Y.: Reinhold Publishing. 288 pp.)
  • 1961: Welfare Island Welfare Island Welfare Island Dispensary (historical) Farewell Gull Island Cedar Creek Wildlife Management Area - Telfair Island Unit Farewell Duck Islands East Island, N.Y. East Island Designed Welfare Island development plan, East Island, N.Y. Elected fellow, American Institute of Architects
  • 1962: Elected fellow, International Institute of Arts and Letters
  • 1963: Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnati Received Progressive Architecture Citation for Urban Design (Cincinnati, Ohio) Married Kemija Theresa Salihefendiz-Abazz Beda Zwicker joined Gruen Associates as partner Published Stadsfornyelse i Forenta Staterna (Stockholm, Sweden: Bonniers. 14 pp.)
  • 1964: Published The Heart of Our Cities, The Urban Crisis: Diagnosis and Cure (New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster. 368 pp.)
  • 1965: Fresno, Calif. Fresno Rochester, N.Y. Rochester Urbana, Ill. Urbana Received American Institute of Architects Citations for Excellence in Community Architecture (Fresno, Calif.,Rochester, N.Y., and Urbana, Ill.)
  • 1966: Received Who's Who in America Significant Contribution to Society Award Published New Cities U.S.A. (Washington, D.C.: Housing and Urban Development Department. 42 pp.)
  • 1967: Valencia, Calif. Valencia Designed city center plan, Valencia, Calif. Vienna, Austria Vienna Wien Founded Victor Gruen International, Vienna, Austria
  • 1968: Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Founded Victor Gruen Foundation for Environmental Planning, Los Angeles, Calif. Retired from Gruen Associates
  • 1970: Designed Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain, Belgium
  • 1971: Designed city plan, Vienna, Austria
  • 1972: Zürich, Switzerland Zürich Kanton Zürich Bezirk Zürich Designed Glatt shopping center, Zürich, Switzerland Received Preise der Stadt Wien Published Downfall and Rebirth of City Cores on Both Sides of the Atlantic (Los Angeles, Calif.: Victor Gruen Foundation for Environmental Planning. 42 pp.)
  • 1973: Vienna, Austria Vienna Wien Founded Zentrum für Umweltplanung,Vienna, Austria Published Centers for the Urban Environment, Survival of the Cities (New York, N.Y.: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. 266 pp.) Published Meine Alte Schuhschachtel, Schriften aus den zwanziger Jahren (Vienna, Austria: Europa Verlags-AG. 125 pp.) Published Das Überleben der Städte, Wege aus der Umweltkrise: Zentren als urbane Brennpunkte (Munich, Germany: Verlag Fritz Molden. 352 pp.)
  • 1975: Published Ist Fortschritt ein Verbrechen? Umweltplanung Statt Weltuntergang (Vienna, Austria: Europa Verlags-AG. 278 pp.) Published Die Lebenswerte Stadt, Visionen eines Umweltplaners (Munich, Germany: Paul List Verlag KG. 183 pp.)
  • 1978: Received Gross Goldene Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich
  • 1979: Received Goldenen Ehrenzeichens für Verdienste um das Land Wien
  • 1980, Feb. 14: Died, Vienna, Austria

From the guide to the Victor Gruen Papers, 1886-1991, (bulk 1960-1980), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Biography

Victor Gruen was born Victor David Grünbaum in 1903 in Vienna, Austria; attended the Architectural School and the Academy of Arts in Vienna, where he developed a private practice; moved to New York in 1938, working for the Ivels Corporation and in the office of Norman Bel Geddes; formed a design partnership with Elsie Krummeck (1940-48); settled in Los Angeles, where he established Victor Gruen Associates in 1951; designed shopping centers, including Northland Center in Detroit and Southdale Center in Minneapolis; also designed The Mall in Fresno, California and Midtown Plaza, Rochester, New York (1962), the first inner-city enclosed mall, and Sea World, San Diego (1968); Fellow, American Institute of Architects; he died on February 14, 1980.

From the guide to the Victor Gruen Collection, 1952-1968, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6c54639
Ark ID:
w6c54639
SNAC ID:
26514888

Subjects:

  • Architectural firms--New York (State)--New York
  • City planning
  • Central business districts
  • City planning--Austria--Vienna
  • Shopping centers
  • Land use
  • College buildings--Belgium
  • City planning--Michigan--Kalamazoo
  • Architectural firms--California--Los Angeles
  • Cities and towns
  • Public housing
  • Architectural firms--Austria--Vienna
  • Environmental engineering
  • College buildings
  • Architecture
  • Urban Renewal
  • City planning--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Real estate development
  • Architectural firms
  • Architectural design
  • Architects--Archival resources
  • City planning--New York (State)--Rochester
  • City planning--Texas--Fort Worth
  • City planning--Illinois--Urbana
  • City planning--California--Fresno

Occupations:

  • Architect
  • City planners
  • Architects--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources

Places:

  • California--Fresno (as recorded)
  • Edina (Minn.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Minnesota--Edina (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Boston (as recorded)
  • California--Los Angeles (as recorded)
  • California--Fresno (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Urbana (as recorded)
  • Michigan--Kalamazoo (as recorded)
  • Belgium (as recorded)
  • California--Los Angeles (as recorded)
  • Texas--Fort Worth (as recorded)
  • Austria--Vienna (as recorded)
  • Fresno (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--Rochester (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)