Comment 81683

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2012 at 14:59:04

Fitting, in light of the restoration work currently being done to Hamilton Place.

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Ulrich Franzen, a German-born architect whose fortresslike buildings seemed to buttress the interior landscape of New York City during the shaky 1970s, and who gave it some buoyance, too, with skywalks, died on Oct. 6 in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 91. His death was confirmed by his wife, Josephine.

Not everyone liked the skywalks, which connect buildings Mr. Franzen designed at Hunter College on Lexington Avenue. Neighbors lamented the loss of sunlight. But Mr. Franzen, a Modernist subscriber to the form-follows-function credo, considered them the functional equivalent of ivy-covered walkways for urban students. It would “become the college community’s main street,” he wrote of the skywalk plan in 1972 in the college’s student newspaper, “well above rush-hour traffic at street level.”

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