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Modern world loses Albert C. Ledner

November 20, 2017

DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State mourns the loss of Albert Ledner, 93, who died November 13, just days after attending a screening of the new documentary “Designing Life: The Modernist Architecture of Albert C. Ledner” at the Architecture & Design Film Festival in New York.

After a short stint with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship, Ledner established an architectural practice in his native New Orleans, where he designed a wide variety of houses, commercial and institutional buildings, including his first commission for the National Maritime Union, which initiated a long-running architect-client relationship. Ledner went on to design a number of hiring halls for the Union in seaport cities throughout the country, and ultimately three strikingly quirky buildings for the Union’s headquarters in New York City. The main headquarters building of 1964, at Seventh Avenue and 13th Street, has been substantially restored and now houses a medical facility. Two later annexes, from 1966 and 1968, located at Ninth Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets, have been adaptively reused as the Dream and Maritime Hotels.

Ledner was reportedly determined to revisit his NMU buildings and attend the screening of the documentary, directed by his daughter and her cousin, in his first visit to NYC in decades, capping a distinguished career in celebratory fashion.

– Kyle Johnson

Architect Albert C. Ledner, who peppered New Orleans with modernist marvels, dies at 93,” New Orleans Times-Picayune: November 14, 2017
 
Albert Ledner, architect with a quirky sense, dies at 93,” New York Times: November 21, 2017

Photo courtesy the Ledner Family
Courtesy A. Ledner
Curran O'Toole Building, Albert C. Ledner, 1964. Photo © Christopher Cooper; courtesy Perkins Eastman Architects.
Interior, Ledner's first personal residence, New Orleans, c. 1962