Male, born 1921-12-02

Associated with the firms network

Marquis and Stoller, Architects; Stoller Knoerr Architects; Stoller/Partners, Architects


Professional History

Résumé

Partner, Marquis and Stoller, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1956-1978. Stoller and Marquis both attended the legendary Black Mountain College.

Partner, Stoller/Partners, Berkeley, CA, 1978- .

Partner, Stoller Knoerr, Architects, Berkeley, CA.

Teaching

Assistant Professor, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO, c. 1955.

Associate Professor, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), c. 1966.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1968.

Recipient, University of California, Berkeley Citation, Berkeley, CA. 1991.

Archives

In 2000, Stoller's papers were donated to the UCB, College of Environmental Design Archives in Berkeley, CA. The collection is known as the "Claude Stoller Collection, 1957-1996," Collection Number 2000-14.

Education

High School/College

Graduate, New York City public schools.

Coursework, City College of New York (CCNY), New York, NY.

Coursework, Black Mountain College, Black Mountain, NC, c. 1941-1942.

M. Arch., Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA, 1949.

Coursework, University of Florence, Florence, Italy, 1949-1950.

Personal

Relocation

Stoller was born in New York, NY, and spent his childhood there. In 1927, his family had an apartment at 2926 West 31st Street, Brooklyn, NY. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; NAI Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, accessed 03/18/2020.)

By 1930, his parents had rented an apartment at 74 Van Cortland Park South in the Bronx, according to the US Censuses of 1930 and 1940, and the family remained living there in 1942. In 1940, they paid $47 per month in rent. (SeeAncestry.com,Source Citation, Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0686; FHL microfilm: 2341224, accessed 03/18/2020 andAncestry.com, Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02491; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 3-1261, accessed 03/18/2020.)

Claude didn't venture far to attend college, first matriculating at the City College of New York (CCNY) for a single semester. He attended a Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibition that opened on 12/07/1938, entitled "The Bauhaus 1919-1928," where he first learned of many of its teaching principles. The show indicated that Black Mountain College in Black Mountain, NC, had developed an "advanced" curriculum comparable to that of the Bauhaus, and decided to transfer from CCNY to Black Mountain College in 1938. (For more on the connections between the Bauhaus and the curriculum of Black Mountain College see Helen Molesworth, Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957, [Boston and New Haven: Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston in association with Yale University Press, 2015], pp. 103-105.) This avant-garde institution opened in 1933 was founded by four former art faculty dismissed from Rollins College in March of that year. (The four declined to recite a "loyalty pledge" required by Rollins' President Hamilton Holt [1872-1951].)

At Black Mountain, Stoller studied art theory and photography with Bauhaus painter Josef Albers (1888-1976) and architecture with avant-garde Modern architect A. Lawrence Kocher (1885-1969) and others. He stayed here until 1942, when he was drafted. (When Stoller filled out his World War II draft registration card on 02/16/1942, he was a student at Black Mountain College. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information: U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, accessed 03/18/2020.)

Because of a hearing problem, Stoller was not taken immediately into active duty, but received an enlisted reserve assignment with the 14th Coast Artillery on Puget Sound. This unit was enlarged in 1941-1942 and stationed at four main locations: Forts Worden, Flagler, Casey and Whitman. The Army positioned batteries at key locations around Puget Sound, including Port Angeles, Sequim, Marrowstone Island, Agate Passage, Rich Pass, Beans Point and Orchard Point, among others. In 1944, Stoller was transferred to the 13th Armored Division, the "Black Cat Division," that began European operations in 01/1945 landing at LeHavre, France. In 04/1945, the 13th was attached to the Army's XVIII Corps, engaging the Wehrmacht in combat near the town of Bad Honnef. The corps continued operations in the North Rhine/Westphalia northeast of Bonn before turning southeast cutting through the center of Germany with the purpose of meeting resistance in Bavaria. It remained in the vicinity east and southeast of Munich in both Germany and Austria. On 05/02/1945, the 13th Armored Division set up its headquarters in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn in the house in which Hitler was born. The war in Europe concluded on 05/08/1945, and Stoller's unit left for home on07/14/1945.

By 02/1946, Stoller gained admittance to the Master's in Architecture program at Harvard University, although he did not technically finish his undergraduate coursework at Black Mountain. Walter Gropius, Chair of the Department of Architecture, had worked with Albers at the Bauhaus, and held his teaching methods in high esteem. Gropius maintained close relations with Albers while the painter developed Black Mountain's curriculum. Gropius and Marcel Breuer prepared designs for a new Black Mountain College Campus in 1939-1940, and Gropius's own daughter, Ati Gropius Johansen, even attended Black Mountain during the 1940s. According to the Online Archive of California, at Harvard, Stoller felt "...that at first he was envious of the more advanced drafting skills of those who had come through professional undergraduate programs. He soon realized, however, that his courses with Josef Albers, an excellent physics course with Peter Bergmann, and his practical construction experience at Black Mountain compensated by far for any deficiency in technical skills which he soon mastered." (See Online Archive of California, "Claude Stoller Collection, 1957-1996: Biographical Notes," accessed 01/05/2016.) Stoller graduated with a master's degree from Harvard's Gradaute School of Design in 1949, having worked with Gropius, Joseph Hudnut and others teaching luminaries. In 1949, while a Harvard student, Stoller lived at 53 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA. (See Ancestry.com,Source Citation: The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 50, accessed 03/18/2020.)

Following Harvard, Stoller spent one year in Italy studying at the Unversity of Florence, along with others with whom he had attended Black Mountain College, including his wife, Anne, and Lucian C. and Jane Slater Marquis. Lucian Marquis (1921-2005) would later become a Professor of Political Science at Pitzer College, and was the brother of Robert B. Marquis (1927-1995), who would become Stoller's architectural partner in San Francisco. Both Marquis brothers had been born in Stuttgart and fled the Nazis in 1937.

Following this European study, Claude Stoller and his wife re-settled in the Boston area where he worked in the offices of various architects. He relocated to Saint Louis, MO, in 1955, in order to take a teaching position in architecture at Washington University. He also worked as a practicing architect briefly in the States of IA and MO. He worked at Washington University for a short time, before relocating to CA.

In 1959, Claude and Anna Stoller lived in Mill Valley, CA. (See San Francisco, California, Telephone Book, 1959, p. 1415.) His firm, Marquis and Stoller, operated in San Francisco from 1956 until 1978.

Soon after relocating to San Francisco, William W. Wurster (1895-1973), Dean of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), invited him to teach there. He continued to teach at UCB until 1991. Stoller lived in Berkeley for many years, and he transferred his next architectural firm, Stoller/Partners (later Stoller Knoerr Architects) to Berkeley, as well.

Stoller's family had roots in ME, and he and his second wife, Rosemary Raymond Stoller, remodeled a barn on the Atlantic seacoast as a second residence over many years.

In 1993, Stoller resided on Derby Street in Berkeley, CA, while working at 1818 Harmon Street, Berkeley, CA.

Parents

His mother was Esther Ziesblatt Stoller (born c. 1891 in Poland), who had two sons, Ezra, (born 05/16/1915 in Chicago, IL, initially called "Isador"-d. 10/29/2004 in MA), and Claude. She managed the household according to the US Censuses of 1930 and 1940.

His father, Max Stoller, (born 12/25/1889 in Sokółka, Poland, then under Russian control), worked as a cutter of women's dresses according to the 1930 US Census, and a manager of a women's dress manufacturing business as per the Census of 1940. Esther arrived in the US in 1903, Max in 1910, both as Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. They married c. 1907 in New York.

Max Stoller applied for US citizenship between 1922 and 1927. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; NAI Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21, accessed 03/18/2020.)

Claude's brother, Ezra, would become one of the leading architectural photographers of the twentieth century in the US, whose New York studio would shoot some of the renowned photographs of Modern architecture. His New York studio, now known as “Esto,” said of his work: "He worked from the late 1930s into the 1980s. Stoller’s images convey the three-dimensional experience of architecture through a two-dimensional medium with careful attention to vantage point and lighting conditions as well as line, color, form and texture. Among the iconic structures he photographed are Fallingwater, the Guggenheim Museum, the Seagram Building, and the TWA Terminal. Often the images are as familiar as the buildings they document. Ezra Stoller’s work included photographs of science and technology, factories and industrial production plus commercial and residential architecture. His work can be seen as social history as well as documents of design and construction." (See Esto.com, “Bio/Portfolio,” accessed 03/18/2020.)

Spouse

He married Anna "Nan" Oldenburg Stoller (born c. 1923 in Hamburg, Germany) in Cambridge, MA, in 1946. They divorced in 07/1972 in Marin County, CA. Nan graduated from Radcliffe College and subsequently attended Black Mountain College, where she met Stoller. (See Ancestry.com,Source Information: California, Divorce Index, 1966-1984 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007, accessed 03/18/2020.) In 1943, she lived at Beechwood Farm, Brattleboro, VT. (See Black Mountain College Community Bulletin, vol. 10, summer bulletin 9, 08/09/1943, p. 1.)After divorcing Stoller in 1972,she married Thomas R. Black on 06/16/1978. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information: California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007, accessed 03/18/2020.))

Stoller wed Rosemary Raymond Lax on 09/22/1978 in San Francisco, CA. She was the ex-wife of the New York industrial designer, Michael Lax (1929-1999), whom she married in 1950. She and Michael Lax divorced in 1978, just after he won a Rome Prize Fellowship.(See Ancestry.com, Source Information: California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007, accessed 03/18/2020.)

Biographical Notes

His name appeared spelled as "Claud" in the 1930 and 1940 US Census forms.

At age 20, Stoller stood 5-feet, 7-inches tall, weighed 140 pounds, and had brown eyes, black hair and a ruddy, Caucasian complexion. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information: U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, accessed 03/18/2020.)

On his way to studying at the University of Florence, Stoller departed New York, NY, aboard the Holland America Liner S.S. Leerdam bound for Antwerp, Belgium, on 09/12/1949. He and his wife, Anna, were to spend one year abroad, 1949-1950. They returned aboard the Holland America Liner, S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam, leaving Southampton, England, departing on 11/01/1950 and arriving 11/08/1950. (See Ancestry.com,Source Citation: The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 50, accessed 03/18/2020,Ancestry.com,Source Information: Ancestry.com. UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012, accessed 03/18/2020, andAncestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1950; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 7912; Line: 21; Page Number: 192, accessed 03/18/2020.)



Associated Locations

  • New York, NY (Architect's Birth)
    New York, NY

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PCAD id: 431