Der Scutt, 1934-2010

Tuesday 16 Mar 2010

Designed prominent NYC skyscrapers

Der Scutt, a modernist architect who designed several notable buildings in New York City including Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and One Astor Plaza off Times Square, died on Sunday at his Manhattan home. He was 75.

In addition to Trump Tower, developed by Donald J. Trump, Scutt’s other New York skyscrapers including 520 Madison Avenue, Continental Insurance Corporation Headquarters and he was the design consultant for the Grand Hyatt Hotel. He also designed the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Headquarters in Milwaukee.

Born Oct. 17, 1934 in Reading, Pa., Scutt attended Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute, Pennsylvania State University and received a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University with high honors.

“I have always found my father's educational path interesting,” said Hagen Scutt, who is the senior architect at Der Scutt Architects, the firm his father founded, in statement provided by the family. “He attended Wyomissing Polytechnic before attending Penn State. Following his third year at Penn State, he went to intern for architect, Philip Johnson who insisted that he apply to Yale. My father ultimately received a masters degree from Yale without ever earning an undergraduate degree.”

In 1961, Scutt joined Edward Durell Stone. From 1962 to 1965, he worked for Paul Rudolph, who was the dean at Yale when Scutt was there, and managed Rudolph's New York office. He later joined Kahn and Jacobs where he designed One Astor Plaza. While at Swanke Hayden & Connell Architects he was the partner in charge of design from 1976 to 1981.

Scutt, at age 50, launched his own practice in 1981 and designed the 55-storey United Nations Plaza Tower luxury condominium, the 57-storey Corinthian luxury condominium in New York City. His other designs included The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation United States Headquarters in New York City, the Roure Bertrand Dupont United States Headquarters in New Jersey and the Hand-Surgery Clinic at Roosevelt Hospital.

While his career was focused on design buildings that touched the sky, Scutt had an affinity for the sea. In 1989, Scutt purchased his first ship model at a flea market and amassed one of the most unique private nautical collections in the world. His collection spans four centuries and all corners of the world, including ocean liners, warships, commercial ships, sailing ships, and paddle steamers. In 2002, the ocean liner portion of his collection was given a permanent home at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City. That same year, Scutt founded the Ocean Liner Council as well as the Silver Riband Award.

Scutt is survived by his wife of 43 years, Leena Liukkonen Scutt, a son, Hagen Scutt and colleague, Hagen Scutt, a daughter, Kirsti Scutt Edwards, and four grandchildren.

Jennifer Potash

News Editor

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