Tuesday, August 20, 2013
August 20 - Eero Saarinen
Architect Eero Saarinen was born on August 20, 1910, in Finland. He and his father, Art Nouveau architect Eliel Saarinen, shared the same birthday. Eero was 13 when the family came to the United States and became associated with the Cranbrook Academy, an influential cradle of art and design in Michigan. After studying at Yale and serving in World War II in the CIA’s predecessor agency, he entered the 1947 architectural competition for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. His design not only established his own eclectic style, marked by simplicity and sweeping, graceful curves, but also created a landmark for the nation and the modern era. His Gateway Arch (1965), in the form of a flattened catenary arch, is the tallest man-made U.S. monument and the world’s tallest arch. Saarinen is also celebrated for the design of major icons of modernism and the “jet age,” including the “Tulip Chair” (1955-56), the TWA Flight Center (1962) at New York’s JFK Airport, and Dulles International Airport (1962) near Washington, D.C.