Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Hide Profile

Lever House, one of the major landmarks of International Style architecture, was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, of the the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Sited along Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets in New York City, the building was completed in 1952. Weiskoff & Pickworth were the structural engineers and Jaros Baum & Bolles were the mechanical engineers.

From the guide to the Lever House architectural drawings, 1950-1953, (Columbia University. Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Department of Drawings & Archives, )

Founded in 1936, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the world's largest and most influential architecture, urban design, engineering, and interior firms. SOM came to national prominence by the early 1940’s led in part by commissions from the United States government to build a number of military complexes, including the U.S. Naval Postgraduate College in Monterey, California, the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, and the Atomic Energy Commission facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After World War II, the firm has designed in a range of styles, including the International Style, brutalism, and postmodernism. While especially well known for its many iterations of the "glass box" skyscraper, SOM is also credited as the design pioneer of the suburban “corporate campus.” Originally based in Chicago with sister offices in New York and San Francisco, this international firm has built in over 50 countries, often designing for U.S.-based corporations expanding operations in developing countries.

SOM’s noted buildings include: Chicago's Sears Tower (Graham & Khan) and John Hancock Center (Khan), Lever House in New York City (Bunshaft), the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO (Netsch), the Bank of America World Headquarters in San Francisco, as well as Burj Dubai in Dubai and the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai. Although SOM prefers to emphasize the firm rather than any one individual practitioner, some of its more prominent architects have included Charles Bassett, Natalie de Blois, Gordon Bunshaft, Myron Goldsmith, Bruce Graham, Bill Hartmann, Fazlur Khan and Walter Netsch.

From the guide to the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill photographs, circa 1945-1969., (Columbia University. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Oregon Statesman Building plans, 1948-1952 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Louis Skidmore Papers, 1908-1976 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Kermit Carlyle Parsons papers, circa 1945-1999 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Nathaniel Alexander Owings Papers, 1911-1983, (bulk 1960-1980) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Skidmore, Owings & Merrill photographs, circa 1945-1969. Columbia University. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives.
referencedIn Connecticut Architectural collection, CTAC Accession number: 2007035., 1961, 1981, 1989 Alexander Architectural Archive, The University of Texas at Austin.
referencedIn Emery Roth & Sons architectural records and papers, 1906-1996, (bulk 1951-1994) Columbia University. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives.
referencedIn Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architectural papers, 1948-1964 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Delta Park Stadium plans, 1964 Oregon Historical Society Research Library
referencedIn Architect & Engineer File, 1811-1989 New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Lever House architectural drawings, 1950-1953 Columbia University. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives.
creatorOf Calatrava, Santiago, 1951-. BCE Place, Toronto, Ont. : vertical file. Centre canadien d'architecture, | Canadian Centre for Architecture | CCA
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alexander Architectural Archive corporateBody
associatedWith American Republic Insurance Company building (Des Moines, Iowa) corporateBody
associatedWith Belluschi, Pietro, 1899-1994 person
associatedWith Boltin, Lee. person
associatedWith Bunshaft, Gordon, 1909- person
associatedWith Chase Manhattan Bank and Plaza (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Checkman, Louis. person
associatedWith Connecticut General Life Insurance Company building (Bloomfield, Conn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dementi Studio. corporateBody
associatedWith Emery Roth & Sons. corporateBody
associatedWith Fisher, Vories. person
associatedWith Ford Motor Company building (Dearborn, Mich.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hedrich-Blessing (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith H. J. Heinz Company, Ltd. (Hayes Park, Middlesex, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Hornbeck, James S. person
associatedWith Istanbul Hilton Hotel (Istanbul, Turkey) corporateBody
associatedWith Janu, Rudolph. person
associatedWith Jaros Baum & Bolles. corporateBody
associatedWith Lever House (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lincoln, F. S. person
associatedWith Maffitt, Theodore S. person
associatedWith Merrill, John. person
associatedWith New York Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith Owings, Nathaniel Alexander, 1903- person
associatedWith Parsons, Kermit C. (Kermit Carlyle), 1927- person
associatedWith Royall National Bank (Palestine, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Severinghaus, J. Walter. person
associatedWith Skidmore, Louis, 1897-1962 person
correspondedWith Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, architects. corporateBody
associatedWith Stoller, Ezra. person
associatedWith Union Carbide Corporation building (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Wausau Hospital (Wausau, Wis.) corporateBody
associatedWith Weiskoff & Pickworth. corporateBody
associatedWith Wurts Brothers (Photographers : New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)
New Jersey
Hospitals--New York (State)--New York
Architecture--United States--Designs and plans
Architectural drawings--American
Bank buildings--New York (State)--New York
Commercial buildings--New York (State)--New York
Architecture--United States--Pictorial works

Corporate Body

Related Descriptions


Ark ID: w6nm22n1

SNAC ID: 1938300