esterday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that noted Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman has passed away.
Tigerman was a Windy City native who briefly studied at MIT before joining the Navy and returning to Chicago to work for multiple firms, including SOM. He subsequently studied at the Yale School of Architecture and in 1964 Tigerman started his own Chicago practice, Stanley Tigerman and Associates Ltd., subsequently renamed Tigerman McCurry Architects. (Tigerman retired from active practice in 2017—the same year the firm closed its main office—but his wife, Margaret McCurry, continues to design under the name.)
In the 1970s, Tigerman was part of a broader movement against Modernism, a school whose “preoccupations with ideality,” he later wrote, “precluded involvement with the particular and specific in life.” He was a founding member of the Chicago Seven, a collection of Postmodernist architects that included Ben Weese, Stuart Cohen, Larry Booth, James L. Nagle, Tom Beeby, and James Ingo Freed.
Tigerman’s 1978 collage The Titanic captured the mood of the times, becoming one of the most indelible images from the period. It depicts an iconoclastic act, in which Tigerman, long a committed student of Mies van der Rohe, sinks the master’s Illinois Institute of Technology Crown Hall into Lake Michigan. He would later psychologize the gesture as cathartic, explaining that, “I was basically sinking myself. I wanted to get out from under that.” (Tigerman and McCurry shared an apartment in Mies’s Lake Shore Drive.)
While Tigerman prepared projects from Bangladesh to Japan, many of his noted works—which evidence his penchant for allegorical figures, historical styles, bright colors, and organic shapes—are in Chicago. Metropolis has included four such Chicago projects here, which were all photographed as part of an October 2015 article, “15 Buildings That Embody Chicago’s Postmodern Moment.”