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Male, Austria/US, born 1903-07-18, died 1980-02-14

Associated with the firms network

Gruen and Krummeck, Architects; Gruen, Victor, Associates


Professional History

Designer, Melcher and Steiner, Architects, Vienna, Austria, 1923-1932; Principal, Victor David Grünbaum, Architekt, Vienna, Austria, 1932-1938; Principal, Victor D. Gruen, Architect, New York, NY, 1938-1948; Gruen and Krummeck Partnership, New York, NY, 1939, a firm that focused on retail design; Partner, Gruen and Krummeck Partnership, Los Angeles, CA, 1941-1950; Senior Partner, Victor Gruen and Associates, New York, NY, Chicago, IL, and Los Angeles, CA, 1950-1968; other partners in this firm included: Rudi Baumfeld (joined 1943), Karl Van Leuven (1944), Edgardo Contini (1950), Ben Southland (1956), Herman Guttman (1957), Beda Zwicker (1963); Founder, Victor Gruen International, Vienna, Austria, 1966-1968; Founder, Victor Gruen Foundation for Environmental Planning, Los Angeles, CA, 1968; Founder, Zentrum für Umweltplanung, Vienna, Austria, 1973.

Gruen received his first license to practice architecture in 1948; this was in Los Angeles. Gruen served on the Jury of the First PA Design Awards, 1954. Other jury members for this award program included: Eero Saarinen, George Howe, and Fred N. Severud.

Gruen received an American Institute of Architects (AIA) "Award of Merit" for the Northland Center, Detroit, MI, 1954; received a Progressive Architecture "Design Award for Urban Redevelopment," Detroit, MI, 1956; awarded Progressive Architecture "Design Award for Planning," (Fort Worth, TX); Received Progressive Architecture "Design Award for Residential Design," (Wilshire Terrace, Los Angeles, CA), 1958; received Progressive Architecture "Design Award for Urban Design," (Boston, MA), 1959; Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1961; Fellow, International Institute of Arts and Letters, 1962; received Progressive Architecture "Citation for Urban Design," (Cincinnati, OH), 1963; received American Institute of Architects (AIA) "Citations for Excellence in Community Architecture," (for work in Fresno, CA, Rochester, NY, and Urbana, IL), 1965; received Who's Who in America "Significant Contribution to Society Award," 1966; received Preise der Stadt Wien, 1972; received Gross Goldene Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich, 1978; received Goldenen Ehrenzeichens für Verdienste um das Land Wien, 1979.

The papers of Victor Gruen are housed at the Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. His widow, Kemija Salihefendic-Abazz Gruen, donated the items in 1980, 1983, and 1992.

Education

Advanced Division for Buildings Construction, Technological Institute, Vienna, Austria; Austrian Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna;

Personal

Born in 1903 to a middle-class Jewish family in Vienna, Austria, Victor David Grünbaum worked in that country until 1938. He left Austria in 1938, following Hitler's Anschluss. Gruen had been a socialist since the mid-1920s, and his political views as well as his ethnicity would have targeted him by the new Nazi regime and its henchman, Austrian Chancellor Arthur Seyss-Inquart (1892-1946). He settled in New York, NY, working there until 1941, when he relocated the Gruen and Krummeck office to Los Angeles, CA. Following his divorce from Krummeck in 1951, he set up his own architecture and planning firm, Victor Gruen Associates. Gruen traveled a great deal to projects across the US after 1954. His Northland Shopping Center raised Gruen's profile nationally and abroad, and he became in demand by retailers planning malls and government officials seeking to replan "blighted" cities. In 1955, Gruen indicated that his primary residence was at 31 West 12th Street, New York, NY. Leaving the US, he returned to his hometown, Vienna, making it his primary residence after 1967, where he died in 1980.

His father was Adolf Grünbaum (d. 1918), his mother, Elisabeth Lea Levy.

He was married four times, in 1930 to Alice Kardos (divorced 1941), in 1941 to Elsie Krummeck, also his business partner, (divorced 1951), in 1951 to Lazette E. McCormick Van Houten (died in 1962), and in 1963 to Kemija Salihefendic-Abazz.

When surveyed in 1955, Gruen indicated that he had had two children; they were Margaret Gruen (his daughter), Michael Stephan Gruen (his son).

Gruen was born Victor (or "Viktor") David Grünbaum or "Gruenbaum" as it was written in English. He changed his name to "Victor David Gruen" in 1938 after emigrating to the US. Gruen was appointed to the National Panel of Abitrators of the American Arbitration Association in early 1963. Gruen designed more than 1,000 projects during his career.



Associated Locations

  • Vienna, Vienna Austria (Architect's Birth)
    Vienna, Vienna Austria

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  • Vienna, Vienna Austria (Architect's Death)
    Vienna, Vienna Austria

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PCAD id: 136


NameDateCityState
Baeck, Leo, Temple, Bel-Air, Los Angeles, CA1962Los AngelesCA
Baker Shoe Store
Biennale de Venezia, Suburban Alternatives Exhibition, Venice, Italy1976Venice
Bon Air Market, Greenbrae, CAGreenbraeCA
City of Fresno, Municipal Plan, Fresno, CA1959-1960
City of Los Angeles, Police Department (LAPD), Northeast Community Station #2, Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA2014-2015Los AngelesCA
City of Oakland, Master Plan c. 1970, Oakland, CA
City of San Bernardino, City Center Project, San Bernardino, CA1970San BernardinoCA
City of San Bernardino, City Hall #4, Carousel, San Bernardino, CA1970-1972San BernardinoCA
Clorox Office Building, Oakland, CAOaklandCA
Commons and Courthouse Center, Columbus, IN1970ColumbusIN
Daehan Kyoyuk Life Insurance Company, Seoul, South Korea1976Seoul
Del Amo Fashion Center, Ohrbach's Department Store, Torrance, CA1970TorranceCA
Fort Worth Central Area Reconstruction, Fort Worth, TX1955
Fox Hills Mall, Culver City, CA1974Culver CityCA
Fulton Mall, Downtown, Fresno, CA1964FresnoCA
Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1926-1929Hollywood, Los AngelesCA
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1972Los AngelesCA
Magnin, Joseph, Department Store, Kaiser Center, Oakland, CA1961OaklandCA
Magnin, Joseph, Store, Century Square Shopping Center, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Mid-Wilshire Medical Building, Los Angeles, CA1951Los AngelesCA
Northland Shopping Center, Southfield, MISouthfieldMI
Occidental Petroleum Company, Hammer, Armand, Museum of Art and Culture, Westwood, Los Angeles, CA1989-1990Los AngelesCA
Ohrbach's Cerritos Department Store, Cerritos, CA1971CerritosCA
Pacific Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada1969-1976VancouverBC
Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA1971West HollywoodCA
Park City Corporation, Residential Sub-Division, Portland, OR1962Washington CountyOR
Rainbow Center Winter Garden, Niagara Falls, NY1976-1977Niagara FallsNY
Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA1979-1981Santa MonicaCA
Security Pacific National Bank (SPNB), Branch, San Bernardino, CA1970-1972San BernardinoCA
Southdale Shopping Center, Edina, MN1954-1956EdinaMN
State of California, Department of Transportation (Caltrans), District 7 Headquarters, Los Angeles, CA2003-2005Los AngelesCA
Tishman Building, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, CA1956Mid-Wilshire, Los AngelesCA
United Nations (UN) City Project, Vienna, Austria1969ViennaVienna
United States Government, Department of State, U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, Japan1972
Valencia City Plan, Valencia, CA1966ValenciaCA
Wells Fargo and Company Bank, Headquarters Building, Oakland, CA1972-1973OaklandCA
Western Electric Office Building, Newark, NJ1969NewarkNJ
Yale Music Center Project, New Haven, CT1974New HavenCT
ZCMI Center, Salt Lake City, UT1971-1975Salt Lake CityUT
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