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César Pelli, designer of NYC’s World Financial Center, dies at 92

August 28, 2019

César Pelli (1926–2019), passed away on July 19 at the age of 92. Pelli was born in Argentina, and after studying architecture at the National University of Tucamán, he moved to the US and began working for Eero Saarinen. During his ten years with the firm, he was involved in projects such as JFK’s TWA Terminal (1962) and the Morse and Stiles Colleges (1961) at Yale University. Pelli was commissioned to design MoMA’s expansion, and following that project in 1977, he established the firm César Pelli & Associates and became Yale’s School of Architecture’s dean.

Pelli’s most notable work in New York City is the World Financial Center (1988), currently known as Brookfield Place. World Financial Center was a complex of six buildings with a centerpiece, the Winter Garden atrium, a privately owned public space complete with palm trees and a glass vault described as the “size of Grand Central’s concourse” by AIA Guide. His other work in NYC worth noting including One Beacon Court (2004) and Carnegie Hall Tower (1991).

“Cesar Pelli, Designer of Iconic Buildings Around the World, Dies at 92,” New York Times, July 20, 2019.

“Architect César Pelli, designer of NYC’s World Financial Center, dies at 92,” Curbed NY, July 22, 2019.

The World Financial Center, César Pelli, 1988. Photo: Max Touhey/