Eminent Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman dies at age 88

In Memoriam

Eminent Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman dies at age 88

Stanley Tigerman's iconoclasm and cheeky spirit is on full view in The Titanic (1978), a photo collage that ties Mies's Crown Hall to the famous inundated ocean liner. (Courtesy Yale School of Architecture)

The Chicago architect, educator, and establishment antagonist Stanley Tigerman died yesterday at the age of 88.

Daisy House, 1972. (Tigerman McCurry)

Tigerman was a member of what came to be known as the Chicago Seven, a group of architects who rebelled against the high modernism of Mies van der Rohe. (Tigerman greatly admired the master architect’s work, though, and he lived full-time in a Mies building.) He gained a reputation as an iconoclast with works like the Daisy House, a 1972 Indiana family residence that resembles complementary male and female anatomy in plan.

Works like Daisy House, the Lakeside Residence, and the Formica Showroom launched him into the director’s role at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Over the course of his almost six-decade career, Tigerman wrote seven books and designed around 450 buildings in Chicago, Japan, and beyond. He and architect Margaret McCurry, his second wife, co-founded Tigerman McCurry in 1986. They only designed as a team when clients asked for joint services, however. “‘It’s just that it’s easier to not have anyone question what he draws except for the client,’ McCurry told the Chicago Reader in 2003. ‘[and] this is like having two clients.'”

Lakeside Residence, 1984. (Courtesy Tigerman McCurry)

In a 2015 exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Club, Tigerman unveiled a follow-up to The Titanic, seen in the top image here. The Epiphany drops a hydrogen bomb on Mies’s Crown Hall as well as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao to protest what Tigerman characterized as a fixation on architectural icons. At the opening, the elder statesman praised today’s up-and-coming young architects: “I am very pleased with the current generation. I feel good. I can go now.”

The Epiphany, Stanley Tigerman’s follow up to his iconic 1978 “Titanic” collage. (Courtesy Chicago Architecture Club)