Marilyn Jordan Taylor was appointed dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design today. Taylor is a partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill where she leads the firm’s urban design and planning practice from the New York office.
She was the first woman to serve as chairman at the firm, as well as the first woman chairman of the Urban Land Institute. Perhaps best known for her work in large-scale transportation projects, Taylor founded SOM’s airports and transportation practice. She led the design and planning for the expansion of Terminal 4 at JFK, the Continental Terminal at Newark, and SkyCity at Hong Kong International Airport, fifteen intercity rail terminals from Boston to Washington D.C. and the planning and transportation design for Moynihan Station. She has also worked on several notable campus plans, including Columbia’s Manhattanville expansion.
At PennDesign, as the school is called, Taylor will oversee the faculty of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Historic Preservation, Digital Media Design, and Visual Studies. “I will be a full time dean and Philadelphia will be my home,” Taylor said. She added that she will stay on at SOM as a consulting partner. In October, she will succeed Gary Hack, who has been dean for the last twelve years. Hack is also a planner. Taylor said she expects to continue and broaden the school’s engagement with Philadelphia and the region.